Water for the World Act aims to help globally

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 03:11:00 PM
Rep. Charlie Dent and Rep. Earl Blumenauer talk about Congress' commitment to making clean drinking water and adequate sanitation available around the world.

Importance of education worldwide

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 03:08:00 PM
Trade and Development Minister of Denmark Mogens Jensen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Borge Brende and Denmark Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt talk about the imprtance of funding education for children.

LIVE VIDEO: Will Pres. Obama disappoint...

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 03:01:19 PM

'Jeopardy!' proves to be clueless

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:53:00 PM Michele Richinick
The game show debuted the category "What women want" on Monday. Helpful hint for its writers: The answer is probably not a vacuum cleaner.

GOP out-advertising Dems in four swing states

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:51:15 PM
The Cycle’s Ari Melber and Abby Huntsman discuss the fundraising push from both Democrats and Republicans as the midterm elections near.

Paul Ryan: I won't run if Mitt runs

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:50:00 PM Jane C. Timm
Mitt Romney’s former running mate won’t run for president if the Massachusetts governor makes another bid, Rep. Paul Ryan said on Tuesday.

AFP not getting better with practice

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:41:14 PM Steve Benen
When a group sends bogus voting materials to households in one state, it's a problem. But what happens when it's three states in three years?

No signs of Umbrella Revolution slowing down

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:30:36 PM
NBC News’ Ian Williams and AFP photojournalist Alex Ogle report from Hong Kong as protests continue against China’s attempts to take control of Hong Kong’s future elections.

A love affair with human rights

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:21:00 PM Alicia Maule, Traci G. Lee
Isabel Anadon, with the Latino Policy Forum, works "to influence the laws and policies that affect the everyday lives of Latino and immigrant communities."

Secret Service under fire for security lapses

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:15:11 PM
Dan Bongino, former Secret Service agent, and Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., join msnbc to discuss the fallout from the uncovered Secret Service security lapses.


Boston Herald: Sorry If We Offended With Obama-Watermelon Cartoon

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:25:14 PM
The editors of The Boston Herald issued an apology of sorts Wednesday, saying they "sincerely regret if we inadvertently offended anyone" with a political cartoon that trafficked in racial stereotypes, according to a tweet from a news anchor at WBZ.The cartoon by renowned cartoonist Jerry Holbert and printed in Wednesday's newspaper was accompanied by the caption: "White House Invader Got Farther Than Originally Thought." It showed President Obama brushing his teeth while the uninvited guest sat in the tub over his shoulder. As the intruder sudsed up, he asked Obama whether he'd "tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste." Here's the tweet via WBZ's Joe Mathieu about the paper's apology: Editors @bostonherald: "We sincerely regret if we inadvertently offended anyone" with today's Holbert cartoon. #wbz pic.twitter.com/XWWOIHF9KQ— Joe Mathieu (@JoeMathieuWBZ) October 1, 2014 The Boston herald did not immiedately return calls seeking comment.

Scott Brown Missed All Six Committee Hearings On Border Security

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:24:11 PM
From all the attack ads former Sen. Scott Brown (R) has run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) one border security, you would think think Brown, now running for Senate in New Hampshire, had made it a habit of attending every Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee hearings on the border he could. But it turns out that despite being a member of that committee, he missed all six hearings on border security that he could attend, according to The Washington Post. Brown missed five hearing since 2011 and he missed one hearing a year earlier, The Post reported, citing public records and congressional transcripts. Four of those missed meetings were full committee hearings and the other two were meetings as part of the subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs. Senators regularly miss committee hearings often because of conflicting committee hearings or scheduling conflicts. But Brown's focus on border security on the campaign trail might cause someone to think that border security topics were his primary issue in the Senate. Brown spokeswoman Elizabeth Guyton, in response to questions from the Post about him missing the committee meetings, instead pointed to an interview Brown did with the Boston Herald where he discussed the threat of the Islamic State. "Senators have a tremendous amount of responsibilities there. I knew in my case I was on four committees, two subcommittees, a bunch of caucuses — and plus I was doing my National Guard duty, so I don’t think there’s ever an expectation to have 100 percent attendance," Brown said in the interview. Guyton didn't respond to followup questions. The TPM Polltracker average finds Shaheen leading Brown by 6.7 points.

Boehner: I Haven't Talked To Ted Cruz Since He Got Elected

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:59:47 PM
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says he hasn't spoken to Ted Cruz since the Republican senator from Texas got elected in November 2012. "I've not talked to him since he's been elected," Boehner told the Cincinnati Enquirer in an interview.The article was published on the one year anniversary of the government shutdown, sparked by a confrontation over Obamacare which Cruz played a key role pushing Boehner into. Cruz, who wields influence among House conservatives, has been an obstacle for Boehner on multiple occasions.

PA Gov. Corbett: I Wish I'd Gotten A Porn Email — Then They'd Have Stopped

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:33:24 PM
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R), during a gubernatorial debate against Democrat Tom Wolf on Wednesday, reportedly said he wished he had received the first of a series of pornographic emails that were circulated among staff when he was attorney general. He said that if he had received the first email the following emails would have stopped quickly. Corbett's comment on Wednesday were in reference to a series of emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane revealed to local journalists recently. Those emails included sexually explicit content and were circulated on state computers by staffers under Corbett during his time as attorney general. The emails included a video of a woman masturbating with a cigar. Another video was of a man uncorking a champagne bottle and putting it into a woman's vagina. Corbett, according to The Morning Call, first said he didn't know the emails were circulating his office. "I wish they would have sent me one," Corbett said according to the Pennsylvania newspaper. "I wish they would have because it would have stopped right then and there."In response to the reporting of the emails, a Corbett spokesperson told The Harrisburg Patriot-News that Corbett considered the emails "unacceptable." The TPM Polltracker average gives Wolf a 16.9 point lead over Corbett. This post has been updated.

Poll: 70 Percent Want To Abolish Lifetime Tenure At Supreme Court

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 02:16:10 PM
Seven in ten Americans want to end lifetime appointments for Supreme Court justices, according to a new Harris poll out Wednesday. Asked if justices should not have lifetime appointments, 41 percent "strongly" agreed and 28 percent "somewhat" agreed. Just 18 percent disagreed, 8 percent "strongly" and 10 percent "somewhat." Twelve percent weren't sure.Lifetime tenure is baked into the U.S. Constitution, which provides that federal judges "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior."Some legal scholars have called for ending it, though; one idea is to replace it with a fixed 18-year term for Supreme Court justices including a lifetime salary.Seventy percent of respondents also said the Supreme Court should "fairly represent the demographic (e.g., race, gender) makeup of the United States," and 71 percent it should "fairly represent Americans' diverse socioeconomic backgrounds."The Harris poll surveyed more than 2,000 adults online from Aug. 13-18. It does not state a margin or error.

Yes, Yes It Is

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:42:11 PM
Kilgore: Is extremism not a character issue?

'Morning Joe' Piles On The 'Politically Correct' Secret Service (VIDEO)

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:45:19 PM
Some of the male panelists on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" wondered Wednesday whether Secret Service director Julia Pierson hadn't been dismissed over recent revelations of serious security lapses because of her gender. Panelist Donny Deutsch, acknowledging that he wasn't exactly taking a "delicate" approach to the subject, said that promoting women into positions of authority shouldn't be prioritized over competence."We need to be careful that we are never, ever throwing the baby out with the bath water as far as the best person always has to get the job," he said. "As we kind of go through her resume, you go 'Obviously, coming off the prostitute scandal, okay, yeah, women on top makes sense, good for the brand, if you will.' But the brand doesn’t work if it’s not competent." "In positions of national security, quota second, competency first," he added.Co-host Joe Scarborough then turned the conversation to the female agent who was guarding the White House's front door when an intruder entered the building last month and managed to overpower her."Now, if a woman, 6' 4", can tackle a big guy or a big woman that's intruding, that's one thing," he said. "But we can't have people standing between the President of the United States and a terrorist that can get knocked down and that's there for politically correct reasons."Scarborough echoed conservative pundit Laura Ingraham with his comments. Speaking Tuesday on "Fox and Friends," Ingraham blamed a desire for "political correctness" in the Secret Service following the agency's 2012 prostitution scandal for the fact that a female agent was guarding the door when the White House jumper entered the residence.Watch below around the four minute mark, courtesy of MSNBC:h/t Mediaite

Colbert: How Can Muslims Play In The NFL If They Can't Touch Pig Skin? (VIDEO)

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:16:52 PM
Colbert admitted he "didn't even know there were Muslim football players" in the National Football League during Tuesday night's "Colbert Report." His admission came after the NFL penalized a Muslim football player who scored a touchdown and then bowed in the end zone as part of a religious prayer."How can they play if they're not allowed to touch pig skin?" Colbert asked of Muslims. "What's gonna happen? We're gonna have to switch to Halal balls."Colbert then revealed that the NFL said there shouldn't have been a penalty on the play."No penalty on the play?" Colbert said. "How about 'holding' the wrong religious beliefs? We all know football's a Christian sport. That's why we have plays like the 'Hail Mary' and the 'Lateral Judas.'"Colbert then provided a refresher on how "the nation's game" works. "Players thank Jesus after every touchdown," he said. "Then whoever wins is the team Jesus loved more."Watch the video below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

More Trouble Brewing In Ferguson

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 12:45:13 PM
Some great original reporting from Dylan Scott on the deep distrust between the prosecutor in the Ferguson case and the family of Michael Brown that threatens the credibility of the entire probe.

Jon Stewart: Democrats And Republicans In Congress Are On A 'Bad Date' (VIDEO)

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 12:14:05 PM
Jon Stewart compared the legislative gridlock in Congress to being on a horribly bad date on Tuesday night's "Daily Show." Stewart played a clip that showed Republicans were actually helping Democrats move bills on equal pay and campaign finance reform."What?! Oh my gosh, I would say 'Hooray!' for that, if I didn't know in my heart that there must be some craven ruse that would bonerize Machiavelli at play here," he said.The "craven ruse" was that Republicans were falsely cooperating in order to waste time on the floor and prevent tough votes before the fall recess, he revealed. "Democrats and Republicans are on a bad date," Stewart said. "Democrats know the Republicans don't want to be there. And Republicans know that the Democrats know that Republicans don't want to be there."The comedian then marveled at the extent to which both parties would go to manipulate the legislative process."So in their cynicism the Democrats have asked, 'Wanna see the dessert menu?'" Stewart said. "And, out of spite, the Republicans have said, 'Bring over the whole f*cking cart. And the espresso machine, 'cause I can do this all night long. You know what, we're not gonna have sex, but I'm gonna make sure you don't get to f*ck anybody else either.'"Watch the video below, courtesy of Comedy Central:

Fox Contributor: 'Obama Sending Troops To Combat Ebola Worked Out Really Well'

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 11:14:22 AM
It didn't take long for a Fox News contributor to link President Obama (albeit sarcastically) to the news that a patient in Texas had been diagnosed Tuesday with the first case of Ebola in the United States. Here's how Townhall writer Katie Pavlich reacted to the news:Well, Obama sending troops to combat Ebola worked out really well.— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 2014 Beheadings. White House intruder. Illegal immigration crisis. Economic stagnation. What else could possibly go wrong? Oh...EBOLA— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 2014Obama has ordered 3,000 troops to West Africa to help overwhelmed health workers combat the virus. Pavlich clarified in subsequent tweets that she wasn't blaming Obama for the virus reaching America, but seemed to mock those who took issue with her connecting the two.No. @charlescwcooke— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 2014Dear trolls: Ebola is not Obama's fault. Freak out about Ebola, not a sarcastic tweet. Also read up on news, might help with understanding— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 20149/29: Troops Obama sent arrive in Africa to combat Ebola 9/30: Ebola in US 9/30: I can't believe you made connection between Obama & Ebola!— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) September 30, 2014h/t Mediaite

Special Report: Brown Family And Prosecutor Bitterly Divided Over Grand Jury Probe In Ferguson

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 10:23:23 PM
Earlier this month, Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson testified for nearly four hours to the St. Louis County grand jury that will decide whether he will be indicted for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.It was a striking moment. The subject of a grand jury investigation rarely risks the legal consequences of testifying before they have even been charged. But it was, at least in theory, in keeping with the prosecutor's pledge to put every piece of evidence before the jurors. Anthony Gray, one of the attorneys for the Brown family, had a visceral reaction to the news of Wilson's testimony, though: "The only thing that happened for over four hours was Mike Brown's body laying on concrete.""I can't imagine what he could talk about for four hours," Gray told TPM in a recent phone interview, "about an incident that took in total a matter of minutes."It crystallizes the deep-seated distrust between the authorities and the Brown family specifically and the Ferguson community more broadly, a tension that has become centered on one of the most closely watched grand juries in years. As recently as last week, both sides were unable to see eye-to-eye about what role the Brown family could even play in the investigation. In interviews with TPM, lawyers for the family cast doubt on the prosecutor's motives, and the prosecutor's office expressed skepticism that the family would have any evidence relevant to the case that the police do not already have. The grand jury began hearing evidence on Aug. 20. In most cases, the prosecutor directs the investigation with specific charges in mind, which then dictates what evidence is presented to the jurors. But not this time. Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, whose office is overseeing the case and who has come under scrutiny in the Ferguson community for his ties to law enforcement, has said that the jury will see everything.“We will be presenting absolutely everything to this grand jury -- every statement that any witness made, every witness, every photograph, every piece of physical evidence,” McCulloch said last month “Absolutely nothing will be left out.”McCulloch has been a controversial figure. Protesters have pointed to his past, which includes the 1964 shooting of his father, a police officer, in the line of duty. He has tried to counter that through pledges of transparency and assigning day-to-day oversight of the grand jury to two deputies, one whom is black.Still, the unusual nature of the grand jury proceedings has raised eyebrows, and former prosecutors have told TPM that the approach would undoubtedly give McCulloch some public-relations cover if the jury decides not to indict Wilson. In fact, one suggested that there was a easy way to help one understand how truly transparent this grand jury would be."If they're doing this wide open grand jury investigation, is it simply the district attorney's office who's deciding what witnesses are going in there?" Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor who is now a law professor at Loyola University in Los Angeles, told TPM. "Or have they reached out to the lawyers of the family or other people? Are they actually soliciting input from other parties?""That can give you an idea of whether this is just cover," she said, "or this is really a community investigation." So over the last few weeks, TPM tried to answer that question. And while it is never easy to reach a firm conclusion in these legal gray areas, which can look very different depending on what side you're on, what is undeniable is the rift between the prosecutor's office and the Brown family. As TPM probed the issue, both sides seemed to be preemptively spinning the grand jury decision yet to come. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch in Feburary 2011. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam).First, TPM approached lawyers from the Brown family. Wilson's lawyer Greg Kloeppel did not return TPM's request for comment on whether they had been allowed to offer other evidence, but Wilson had been offered the opportunity to testify and taken it. So what input has the family of 18-year-old Brown had?Benjamin Crump, the Florida civil rights attorney who also represented Trayvon Martin's family, told TPM on Sept. 11, more than three weeks after the grand jury started hearing evidence, that they had never been approached."We certainly believe that we have some things that we think should be presented to the grand jury and make probable cause clear," Crump said in a phone interview.He also conveyed the Brown family's general distrust of the proceedings and his belief that the case should have never gone to a grand jury because McCulloch already has enough evidence to indict Wilson."The whole process concerns us, the entire process," Crump said. "I think there's a reason why the people mistrust the local law enforcement so much in the Ferguson community. They think this secret proceeding is going to be whatever the prosecutor wants it be, and nobody is going to know except the prosecutors and those jurors.""If the prosecutor presents the case appropriately, there will be an indictment," he continued. "If not, then there won't be an indictment and the grand jury will do what the prosecutor will have them do."Another former prosecutor, Eugene O'Donnell, who worked as a district attorney in Queens and is now a lecturer at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, told TPM that there was no reason for McCulloch's office not to give the Brown family a chance to suggest evidence. It would then be the prosecutor's job to determine if it was appropriate to present to the grand jury, he said."There's no reason at all why the family should not be asked about what they think is relevant," he told TPM. McCulloch's office "should offer. The difficulty you're going to have is the evidence's relevance and whether it's hearsay. But they're in the best position to put all these pieces together."So TPM reached out to Edward Magee, the spokesman for McCulloch's office. Magee said that they had offered the services of the office's victims services unit and stated that prosecutors were willing to meet with the Brown family. Magee also said that his main point of contact had been Gray, who is based in St. Louis.But he seemed to question whether the Brown family would have anything to add to the investigation and placed the onus on the family's attorneys to make an offer of evidence."Mr. Gray was advised that we were willing to meet with the family when they were ready and he advised he would get back with us if they wished to do so," Magee said in a Sept. 22 email. "I’m not sure what type of evidence the family has that has not been given to the police already. Mr. Gray has never contacted us about evidence the family wants presented to the Grand Jury." Sharon Garner, right, and Regina Hamm protest in Ferguson, Mo. on Aug. 30 near the site of the Michael Brown shooting. (AP Photo/Bill Boyce).Crump and Gray confirmed to TPM that they had not approached McCulloch's office with any evidence that they might want the jury to see."We have not," Gray told TPM. "Quite frankly, people don't know what would be helpful to an investigation."But he was troubled that they had not been asked, at least as a formality, as of Sept. 22, nearly five weeks after the grand jury investigation began. McCulloch's office has since said that the grand jury could last into January."The fact that we haven't been approached for anything of evidentiary value is more socially troubling, than it is legally," Gray said. "I would just think that you would expect to see more of a reach-out out of a concern for what occurred, seeing as though as this was a traumatic loss of life under very questionable circumstances.""With the prosecutor's office being neutral, a neutral position would be at least, 'My heart goes out to you.' That just seems like the humane thing to do, a decent thing to follow up on," he continued. "Unless you are aligning yourself for the person who every feels should be responsible for it. That's the kind of the interpretation that folks walk away with from that behavior."So TPM followed up with Magee, the prosecutor's spokesman, on Sept. 26. Magee said that, after TPM's initial inquiry earlier in the week, he had reached out to Gray, but had not yet heard back from him. He seemed bewildered by what the attorneys were telling TPM."Gray has my cell and office numbers, as well as Mr. McCulloch’s office number. If he didn’t bring this to our attention how were we to know," he said in another email. "I will contact him again. I left your number for him, he called you, but he still hasn’t reached out to us."About an hour later, Magee emailed TPM again and suggested that Gray and the Brown family had declined the opportunity to offer evidence for the grand jury."Just talked with Anthony Gray," he said. "They have no requests for this office, he has been in contact with the mother of Michael Brown, and will call me if they have any requests."All that is clear after these weeks of investigation is the disconnect between the two parties. They both placed responsibility for reaching out on the other side. McCulloch's office seems to believe they have made a good-faith effort to reach out to the Brown family. The Brown family, per their attorneys, feel otherwise.

Is Extremism Not A Character Issue?

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 11:32:40 PM
A perennial question in every election cycle is what this or that political contest — or for that matter, the whole national event — is “about.” Is it determined by historical patterns or “fundamentals,” as political scientists often insist? Is it a “referendum” on this or that, or a “mandate” for this or that, as ax-grinders invariably argue (with greater or lesser validity)? Is it a contest of brute force between donors and activists on the two major “teams” who are mainly seeking to “rally the troops?” Or is it a struggle for persuasion focused on a relative handful of “swing voters?” To the extent that persuasion is a factor, there’s an important subordinate question that comes up again and again: are voters attracted to or repulsed by candidates on matters of “character” or of substantive “issues,” and what are the boundaries of acceptable debate on both? This question has become unavoidable in the pivotal Senate race in Iowa, where Republican Joni Ernst has sought to make the race a contrast in personalities (or of “character”) while Democrat Bruce Braley has focused doggedly on “issues.” Ernst’s approach is certainly understandable. She leapt into the front-runner position in her primary not because of her skill as a debater or superior positioning on issues, but aside from benefiting from being a woman in a state starved for female leadership, and also being war veteran and current National Guard officer, she managed to run an ad that cleverly converted a family background on hog farms into a pledge to “castrate” big spending. It’s not what you’d call a particularly deep pitch, but it was brilliantly timed in part because it ran right after Bruce Braley made the unforced error of the cycle when a video surfaced of him asking Texas trial lawyers for money in order to keep an “Iowa farmer” — Chuck Grassley — from chairing the Judiciary Committee. Call the ad Grassley’s Revenge, a potent appeal in a state where many thousands have for decades routinely voted for both Tom Harkin (whose seat is being filled) and Grassley, despite their sharp differences on almost everything. So Ernst has had every reason to keep the general election focused on “personality” and “character,” particularly after Iowa Republicans created a second problem for Braley by manufacturing a “scandal” whereby the congressman supposedly threatened to sue a vacation-home neighbor whose free-range chickens were defecating on his lawn. Get it? Arrogant trial lawyer versus farmers, part two. Braley has gamely stuck to issues, primarily by hammering Ernst for very unpopular right-wing positions on the minimum wage and Social Security. But he’s also used issues to raise his own “character” issue: the claim that this mild-mannered hog-castrating war veteran woman in the soft-focused ads is actually an extremist. And in that pursuit he’s found plenty of ammunition in Ernst’s record in the Iowa legislature and on the campaign trail, particularly early in the 2014 cycle when she was looking for wingnut traction. Ernst is crying “unfair,” most notably in an exchange in their first debate last Sunday. Braley criticized her for sponsoring in the legislature a state constitutional amendment establishing prenatal “personhood” from the moment of fertilization, which he accurately said would outlaw now only the very earliest abortions but also IV fertility clinics and several types of contraception. This was Ernst’s response: “The amendment that is being referenced by the congressman would not do any of the things that you stated it would do," Ernst said. "That amendment is simply a statement that I support life.”That’s true in a highly technical sense — perhaps using the reasoning of a trial lawyer — insofar as constitutional amendments don’t inherently create the laws they rule out or demand, but in a more basic sense, it’s just a lie, as Ernst and her campaign surely know. “Personhood” amendments are so extreme they have been routinely trounced when placed on the ballot (twice in Colorado and once in Mississippi). And if sponsoring one of them is a “statement” of anything, it’s a statement of absolute submission to Iowa’s powerful antichoice lobby, in the sense of ruling out any of those weasely “exceptions” to a total abortion (and “abortifacient”) ban. But the impulse to let Ernst off the hook for outrageous positions is fed by media cynicism as well as candidate mendacity. Consider another Ernst primary campaign theme that some Democrats have criticized, in the eyes of the outstanding political reporter Dave Weigel: The individual attacks on Braley, at this point, aren’t individually important. They’re important as bricks in a wall. Democrats are pursuing a similar strategy, plunking down tape after tape of Ernst, who spent a long time as the right-wing candidate in the primary, sounding like a … well, right-wing candidate. Meredith Shiner [of AP] has the latest example, a debate clip in which Ernst promised that she would oppose the threat posed by the U.N.’s Agenda 21 to suburbanites and farmers. Democrats seek to make voters see Ernst as a Sarah Palin golem; Republicans seek to make voters see Braley as an unrelatable, lawsuit-happy snob. It’s all very inspiring.So Democrats calling attention to Ernst’s multiple passionate statements subscribing to the insane, John Birch Society-inspired conspiracy theory that the United Nations is behind land-use regulations of every kind is treated as the equivalent of Republicans howling about Braley’s “chicken suit.” The reason, I suppose, is that you can’t criticize a pol for pandering to “the base” during primaries and then “moving to the center” in general elections. It’s just what you do. I’m sorry, I just don’t buy it. Extremism is, or should be, a “character” issue. And so, too, should be flip-flopping. Personally, I respect “personhood” advocates for taking a dangerous position based on the logical extension of strongly-held if exotic ideas about human development. I don’t respect those like Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst who try to weasel out of such positions the moment they become inconvenient. As for Agenda 21, anyone who talks seriously about this twisted hoax should be drummed out of electoral politics for good. But just as bad is Joni Ernst’s excuse for why she’s not talking about it now: “I don’t think that the U.N. Agenda 21 is a threat to Iowa farmers,” Ernst said in an interview in her Urbandale campaign office. “I think there are a lot of people that follow that issue in Iowa. It may be something that is very important to them, but I think Iowans are very smart and that we have a great legislature here, we have a very intelligent governor, and I think that we will protect Iowans.”In other words, the conspiracy to ban golfing and force people out of their cars onto bike trails is real, but Iowa Republicans are so vigilant about it that the conspirators have moved elsewhere. I don’t know what hog or chicken farmers would call it, but in any state that’s a load of bull.Ed Kilgore is the principal blogger for Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog, Managing Editor of The Democratic Strategist, and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Earlier he worked for three governors and a U.S. Senator. He can be followed on Twitter at @ed_kilgore.

Really Politico?

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 04:00:48 AM
I'm wondering what the editors at Politico were thinking when they let through this bizarre line about Obama being such an abysmal manager that only his death by assassination is likely to bring about needed reform of the Secret Service. The piece in question is a quickly published piece in Politico Magazine by Ronald Kessler. Kessler is a legitimate expert on national law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He's written many books on these topics. I actually interviewed him a couple times for pieces I wrote just after 9/11 on post-attack preparedness, intelligence sharing and related topics. But over the last decade he's made a hard veer to the right, with a heavy dose of Obama-hating conspiracy mongering. All of which is to say that on this topic Kessler is simultaneously a genuine expert and a bit of a kook. So here's the kicker at the end of the piece. Agents tell me it’s a miracle an assassination has not already occurred. Sadly, given Obama’s colossal lack of management judgment, that calamity may be the only catalyst that will reform the Secret Service.Read that a few times. So Obama is at fault for his inevitable assassination, or he's the only thing standing in the way of cleaning up the agency responsible for his inevitable assassination.There's a lot packed into that two sentence flourish. But all of it is deeply f'd up.I really wonder what the Politico editors were thinking.

Wisconsin GOP Furious Chris Brown Song Was Played At Dem Event

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 10:07:34 PM
The Wisconsin Republican Party is trying to bash Democrats over the fact that a song by Chris Brown was played during an event where first lady Michelle Obama spoke to help boost Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. On Tuesday the Wisconsin GOP announced that it had filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the White House Office of Management and Administration seeking records related to "the inappropriate and violent soundtrack" that played during the event featuring the first lady. Specifically, the GOP wants more information about the fact that "Forever" by Chris Brown was played. In 2009 Brown was sentenced to five years probation for assaulting his girlfriend, pop star singer Rihanna.Read the request here. It demands for communications "regarding the approved soundtrack for the First Lady's visit to Milwaukee, WI." The request noted:"As an example, the song that played immediately preceding Ms. Burke's entrance on stage contains the following lyrics:"So grab me by the neck and don't you ever let go, mess me up so good until I'm begging for more."Burke is posing a serious challenge to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's re-election chances. The TPM Polltracker average gives Walker a slim 2.2 point lead over Burke.

This Is Almost The Worst

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 10:02:36 PM
An ex-con (who thankfully had no malicious intent) was allowed to go an elevator with the President while he was carrying a gun. "He agreed to hand over his gun as well, which surprised agents who did not know until then that he had been armed while he was near Obama." Read the rest.

WATCH LIVE: CDC Delivers Statement On Texas Ebola Case At 5:30 PM

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 09:44:22 PM
The Centers for Disease Control will discuss details surrounding the first patient diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. IN A 5:30 p.m. press conference.Watch live:

Reports: Armed Convict Got On Elevator With Obama Two Weeks Ago

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 10:24:39 PM
More and more reports of Secret Service blunders keep coming out. The latest came on Tuesday afternoon: A security contractor with a gun who had three prior convictions for assault and battery was able to get on an elevator with President Barack Obama earlier in September, according to The Washington Post. It was a violation of Secret Service protocols, the Post noted. The Post reported that the incident happened on Sept. 16 when Obama went to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deliver remarks on the country's response to the ongoing crisis concerning the Ebola virus. Secret Service agents asked the contractor to stop using a camera phone he had to videotape Obama while in the elevator, the Post said. Secret Service agents did question him and checked a database to find out out about his criminal background. A supervisor for the private security firm learned about the Secret Service agents' concern with the contractor and the contractor was then fired. He agreed to hand over his gun as well, which surprised agents who did not know until then that he had been armed while he was near Obama. Elements of this were first reported by The Washington Examiner. The new report comes as the Secret Service is already under scrutiny over a man scaling the White House fence and making it deep into the White House before being tackled by an off-duty agent.

This Ain't Gonna Fly

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 09:32:44 PM
In a terrible (for him) local TV interview, the GOP Senate nominee in Colorado brings the spotlight back to his support for anti-abortion "personhood" legislation by denying any such legislation exists at the federal level. It does. He is co-sponsoring it. The interview with Rep. Cory Gardner (R-TV), who has been trying to disavow his support for personhood legislation since the early days of the campaign, comes as polling over the last three weeks showed Gardner with a consistent lead over incumbent Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO).

NFL Just Demonstrates How It Treats You If You're Different

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 09:15:01 PM
It's worth reading this piece from Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Jasjit Singh on the controversy surrounding a later-withdrawn penalty given to Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah for his "unsportsmanlike" touchdown celebration of kneeling in Muslim prayer. The NFL just demonstrated how it thinks about diversity: Unfortunately the fans watching the game felt, if they, as a Jew, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, or Buddhist have a different way of praying than let’s say Tim Tebow, who has become known for his trademark prayer stance, they too would be quickly and swiftly ostracized.


These Workers Are Now Among The Lucky Few Who Can Take Paid Time Off When They Have A Baby

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:00:58 PM Bryce Covert
Unlike most American workers, either in the public or private workforce, DC city workers can now take paid time off for a new baby.The post These Workers Are Now Among The Lucky Few Who Can Take Paid Time Off When They Have A Baby appeared first on ThinkProgress.

How Americans’ Lives Have Turned Into All Work And No Play, In 3 Charts

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 07:08:57 PM Bryce Covert
Very few workers get paid leave benefits at work, and those who do are getting fewer days off.The post How Americans’ Lives Have Turned Into All Work And No Play, In 3 Charts appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 05:41:15 PM Bryce Covert
Between 1943 and 1946, the country had a universal child care system that left lasting impacts.The post Here’s What Happened The One Time When The U.S. Had Universal Childcare appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Banks Make A Billion Dollars A Year Helping Rich Shareholders Avoid Taxes

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 01:21:35 PM Alan Pyke
International tax law allows creative accounting gimmicks that protect stock owners from taxes on their gains and make billions for banks.The post Banks Make A Billion Dollars A Year Helping Rich Shareholders Avoid Taxes appeared first on ThinkProgress.

BYU Students Fight For The Right to Grow Beards

Monday September 29th, 2014 08:02:42 PM Amelia Rosch
The university's namesake, Brigham Young, had a beard.The post BYU Students Fight For The Right to Grow Beards appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Judge Says Poor Have No Right To Clean Water, Allows Detroit Water Shutoffs To Continue

Monday September 29th, 2014 03:01:04 PM Alan Pyke
Detroit has no obligation to help its poorest residents afford clean running water, according to a federal bankruptcy judge.The post Judge Says Poor Have No Right To Clean Water, Allows Detroit Water Shutoffs To Continue appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Investigation That Could Wake Apple Up From Its iPhone 6 Reverie

Monday September 29th, 2014 01:26:50 PM Alan Pyke
Apple's notorious (and legal) tax avoidance strategy in Ireland may come to a grinding halt this week when European investigators reveal their findings.The post The Investigation That Could Wake Apple Up From Its iPhone 6 Reverie appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Secret Recordings Inside The Federal Reserve Prompt Elizabeth Warren To Call For Investigation

Sunday September 28th, 2014 06:03:09 PM Alan Pyke
New audio tapes raise questions about whether the Fed's regulators are too cozy with bankers, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wants an investigation.The post Secret Recordings Inside The Federal Reserve Prompt Elizabeth Warren To Call For Investigation appeared first on ThinkProgress.

3 Things Chelsea Clinton Will Have After Giving Birth That Many Women Don’t

Saturday September 27th, 2014 04:46:48 PM Emily Atkin
As Clinton welcomes her new daughter Charlotte into the world, she will have access to at least three things that all women deserve to have, but that many don't. The post 3 Things Chelsea Clinton Will Have After Giving Birth That Many Women Don’t appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Pentagon Combats Financial Predators By Offering Military Families Additional Protections

Friday September 26th, 2014 06:24:56 PM Alan Pyke
Military families are ostensibly protected from lending scams by the Military Lending Act of 2006, but loopholes have left them vulnerable for years.The post Pentagon Combats Financial Predators By Offering Military Families Additional Protections appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Woman Allegedly Fired On Her First Day Of Work Hours After Saying She Was Pregnant

Friday September 26th, 2014 03:55:25 PM Bryce Covert
Three hours after telling her supervisor at a nursing home, a pregnant woman was allegedly terminated and replaced with someone who wasn't.The post Woman Allegedly Fired On Her First Day Of Work Hours After Saying She Was Pregnant appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Kansas Uses Sex Toy Auction To Help Close Budget Gap

Thursday September 25th, 2014 08:56:30 PM Alan Pyke
Kansas officials seized thousands of adult novelty items in July and are forcing the owner to auction them off to pay the cash-strapped state what he owes.The post Kansas Uses Sex Toy Auction To Help Close Budget Gap appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Companies With More Women In Leadership Get Blockbuster Results

Thursday September 25th, 2014 07:56:33 PM Bryce Covert
Companies with more women on their boards and in their C-suites far outperform those with just men.The post Companies With More Women In Leadership Get Blockbuster Results appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Devastating New Security Bug Could Let Hackers Take Control Of Millions Of Computers And Consumer Devices

Thursday September 25th, 2014 01:26:11 PM Lauren C. Williams
Cyber security experts have discovered a new Bash software bug that lets hackers commandeer some computer systems. The post Devastating New Security Bug Could Let Hackers Take Control Of Millions Of Computers And Consumer Devices appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The People Who Hire You Support A $10 Minimum Wage

Thursday September 25th, 2014 01:22:58 PM Alan Pyke
Six in 10 people who are in charge of staffing for their companies think the minimum wage should rise, and most want it to be higher than $10 an hour.The post The People Who Hire You Support A $10 Minimum Wage appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Americans Have No Idea How Much Less They Make Than Their Companies’ CEOs

Wednesday September 24th, 2014 03:51:00 PM Alan Pyke
The CEO-to-worker pay gap is more than 10 times worse than Americans think it is.The post Americans Have No Idea How Much Less They Make Than Their Companies’ CEOs appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Zara, 7 Other Brands Pledge To Pay More So Cambodian Garment Workers Can Get A Higher Wage

Wednesday September 24th, 2014 01:02:29 PM Bryce Covert
Garment workers recently took to the streets to demand a minimum wage increase to $177 a month.The post Zara, 7 Other Brands Pledge To Pay More So Cambodian Garment Workers Can Get A Higher Wage appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Number Of Homeless Children In American Public Schools Is Skyrocketing

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 05:37:58 PM Bryce Covert
The homeless population enrolled in public schools jumped 8 percent last year after hitting a record high the year before.The post The Number Of Homeless Children In American Public Schools Is Skyrocketing appeared first on ThinkProgress.

What You Need To Know About The White House’s Response To Tax Avoiders Like Burger King

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 02:40:41 PM Bryce Covert
Treasury and the IRS announced new rules aimed at making tax "inversion" deals less attractive.The post What You Need To Know About The White House’s Response To Tax Avoiders Like Burger King appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Amazon Workers Strike In Germany To Protest Unfair Wages

Tuesday September 23rd, 2014 02:00:00 PM Lauren C. Williams
Amazon has a history of facilitating abusive working conditions and skirting labor laws to keep prices low. The post Amazon Workers Strike In Germany To Protest Unfair Wages appeared first on ThinkProgress.


Mother Faces Jail For Giving Her Son Marijuana That Stopped His Seizures

Wednesday October 1st, 2014 01:05:19 PM Nicole Flatow
“The prosecutor’s version of this is that a good mom allows her child to be in pain, to self-harm, and attempt to take his life. I guess that’s a good mom in his eyes.”The post Mother Faces Jail For Giving Her Son Marijuana That Stopped His Seizures appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Two Entirely Different School Shootings Happened Just Hours Apart Today

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 08:36:57 PM Ian Millhiser
There have now been at least 76 school shootings since Sandy Hook. The post Two Entirely Different School Shootings Happened Just Hours Apart Today appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Congressman Calls Expedited Deportation Of Migrants ‘Compassionate’

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 06:40:42 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
"You would process them within two to three weeks and return them home no matter their country of origin," Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told radio host Laura Ingraham. The post Congressman Calls Expedited Deportation Of Migrants ‘Compassionate’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

New York City Will Stop Putting Adolescents In Solitary Confinement

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 05:24:54 PM Nicole Flatow
The decision comes in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report that caused U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to call Rikers Island “a corrections crucible that seems more inspired by Lord of the Flies than any philosophy of human detention."The post New York City Will Stop Putting Adolescents In Solitary Confinement appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Montana Lawmakers Push Voters To Suppress Their Own Voting Rights

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 01:35:15 PM Scott Keyes
The Republican-held Montana state legislature is putting voter suppression up to a statewide vote. Will it work?The post Montana Lawmakers Push Voters To Suppress Their Own Voting Rights appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Lawyer Suing To Save A GOP Senate Seat Bungles His Case, Leaves His Client At Home

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 01:01:08 PM Ian Millhiser
Thomas Haney, a lawyer suing the Kansas Democratic Party in a suit that could save Sen. Pat Roberts' (R-KS) uphill bid for reelection, showed up to court on Monday missing a crucial element of his case -- his client.The post Lawyer Suing To Save A GOP Senate Seat Bungles His Case, Leaves His Client At Home appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Professor Attacks Feds For Misusing His Research To Justify Harsh Treatment Of Immigrants

Tuesday September 30th, 2014 01:00:56 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
Federal officials may hope otherwise, but Dr. Jonathan Hiskey, whose report they cite, does not support detaining immigrants. The post Professor Attacks Feds For Misusing His Research To Justify Harsh Treatment Of Immigrants appeared first on ThinkProgress.

The Harrowing Story Of How An Undocumented Man Found Sanctuary In An Arizona Church

Monday September 29th, 2014 04:00:33 PM Alice Ollstein
What does it mean for a church to offer sanctuary to an undocumented immigrant? The post The Harrowing Story Of How An Undocumented Man Found Sanctuary In An Arizona Church appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Koch-Funded Advocacy Group Under Investigation For Misleading Voters

Monday September 29th, 2014 03:56:00 PM Joaquim Moreira Salles
This is not the first time Americans For Prosperity has sent out misleading or blatantly inaccurate correspondence regarding voting procedure.The post Koch-Funded Advocacy Group Under Investigation For Misleading Voters appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Leaving Some Behind: Pentagon Provides Narrow Enlistment Route For Some DREAMers

Monday September 29th, 2014 03:47:53 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
Only about a dozen DREAMers could potentially enlist in the military through this program, according to an attorney and former Army officer.The post Leaving Some Behind: Pentagon Provides Narrow Enlistment Route For Some DREAMers appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Judge Slams Voter Suppression Law — ‘Why Does The State Of North Carolina Not Want People To Vote?’

Monday September 29th, 2014 01:04:55 PM Ian Millhiser
The Supreme Court is likely to be confronted with two cases that will challenge whether the Court is capable of applying the same rule in cases that benefits Democrats as it does in cases that benefit Republicans.The post Judge Slams Voter Suppression Law — ‘Why Does The State Of North Carolina Not Want People To Vote?’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

As Tensions Rise, Two Police Officers Are Shot At Near Ferguson

Sunday September 28th, 2014 03:13:59 PM Emily Atkin
The shootings seem to be unrelated -- but still important -- to the Ferguson protests, which have become increasingly tense in the last few days.The post As Tensions Rise, Two Police Officers Are Shot At Near Ferguson appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Department Of Justice Orders Ferguson Police To Stop Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets

Saturday September 27th, 2014 03:35:39 PM Carimah Townes
Ferguson police are at it again. The post Department Of Justice Orders Ferguson Police To Stop Wearing ‘I Am Darren Wilson’ Bracelets appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Mentally Ill Inmate In Solitary Confinement Died Of Thirst, Autopsy Finds

Friday September 26th, 2014 05:06:55 PM Nicole Flatow
North Carolina's Department of Corrections has not released key information explaining what led to Michael Anthony Kerr's death. The post Mentally Ill Inmate In Solitary Confinement Died Of Thirst, Autopsy Finds appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Why You Can’t Trust The Supreme Court, In Three Quotes

Friday September 26th, 2014 04:09:39 PM Ian Millhiser
Carvin's prediction that GOP justices can be trusted to advance GOP policies even in a case such as this one, where the arguments for doing so are weak, may in fact prove correct. Should Carvin be vindicated, however, the justices will deal a grievous self-inflicted wound to their own institution.The post Why You Can’t Trust The Supreme Court, In Three Quotes appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Virginia Board Of Elections Says Nearly 200,000 Voters May Be Disenfranchised By Voter ID (Updated)

Friday September 26th, 2014 02:53:31 PM Josh Israel
198,902 eligible voters lack the most common form of identification, a driver's license -- enough to swing several recent Virginia elections.The post Virginia Board Of Elections Says Nearly 200,000 Voters May Be Disenfranchised By Voter ID (Updated) appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Tea Party Congressman: Holder’s Resignation A Ploy To Distract From Horrors Of Obamacare

Friday September 26th, 2014 02:41:44 PM Igor Volsky
"I can't help but wonder if this is the president's attempt to change the subject," he said. The post Tea Party Congressman: Holder’s Resignation A Ploy To Distract From Horrors Of Obamacare appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Man Allegedly Tased By Police While Praying Over Dead Son At Hospital

Friday September 26th, 2014 01:19:38 PM Carimah Townes
Video shows a man tased in a hospital emergency room. The post Man Allegedly Tased By Police While Praying Over Dead Son At Hospital appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Faith Groups Challenge Federal Immigration Authorities By Providing Sanctuary To Immigrants

Friday September 26th, 2014 01:04:38 PM Esther Yu-Hsi Lee
"The immigration system is unjust and it needs to be changed,” Rabbi Linda Holtzman said.The post Faith Groups Challenge Federal Immigration Authorities By Providing Sanctuary To Immigrants appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Top Conservative Think Tank Calls First Black Attorney General ‘A Modern-Day George Wallace’

Thursday September 25th, 2014 09:01:20 PM Ian Millhiser
Rule of Thumb: Don't compare your political opponents to George Wallace unless they actually support racial apartheid.The post Top Conservative Think Tank Calls First Black Attorney General ‘A Modern-Day George Wallace’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.



Processed request in 0.03491 seconds.