Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. Last summer he logged 22,000 miles while blogging about his cross-country road trip for Mother Jones. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

Get my RSS |

Indiana Pulling Out All the Stops to Block Gay Marriage

| Thu Jan. 23, 2014 11:03 AM EST

Indiana already passed legislation banning same-sex marriage years ago, but now, just to be sure, state Republicans are frantically scrambling to do it again. On Wednesday, a House committee on elections approved a measure to put a referendum on banning marriage equality on the November ballot. But there's a catch: it took two tries.

Much of the testimony was a repeat of that given during a previous three-hour hearing on Jan. 13 before the House Judiciary Committee. The amendment stalled in that committee because there apparently were not enough votes to move the amendments to the full House.

That prompted House Speaker Brian Bosma to take the unusual and controversial step of reassigning the amendment and a companion bill to the elections committee, saying he was responding to the wishes of a majority of the GOP caucus.

In other words, Indiana's Republican leaders are so dead set on banning gay marriage they upended the traditional process for putting initiatives on the ballot. But the real news is that they needed a workaround at all. Marriage equality, even in Indiana, is a popular enough position in 2014—and guaranteed to be increasingly more popular going forward—that even some staunch Republican legislators were wary of casting the crucial vote to slow its progress. With even places like Utah beginning to soften their attitudes on gay rights, though, the effort in Indianapolis looks less like the decisive victory its proponents are gunning for and more like an ever-so-temporary stop-gap solution.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Roommate Needed—$800—(Capitol Hill)

| Thu Jan. 16, 2014 12:27 PM EST

Come live in the OMEGA HOUSE! One of our roommates left to start a pot dispensary and another is quitting his job and now we might need a housemate.

THE PLACE: $800/mo. plus utilities for one room in a two bedroom row house on Capitol Hill. Short walk to Union Station, Capitol South Metro, Johnny's Half Shell, Charlie Palmer, and Bistro Bis. You'd take the larger upstairs bedroom and share a bathroom with two other roommates. Vintage '70s record collection. Newish big-screen TV in the living room, which doubles as a bedroom. Place is occasionally a little messy but not unkempt. (Semi-kempt?) Peeling paint on the walls adds a rustic touch. Mostly functioning kitchen. Stove has a giant hole in it, on account of the rats. I was told not to talk to you about the rats, but frankly, that's the kind of petty brinkmanship that the American people are sick and tired of. We're in the solutions business. Real solutions that can bring real change and improve the lives of real people. Dick, the other roommate, is pretty good at killing rats.

THE ROOMMATES: Current occupants are three laid-back government workers in our sixties. We hold pretty busy lives and aren't around the house too often. Not looking for a best friend, but someone we can have an occasional bowl of cereal with. (We eat a shit-ton of cereal. Come to think of it, maybe that explains the rats.) We're fairly tolerant people, but it's a small house so we ask that you avoid certain kinds of destructive behavior, such as drug use, smoking, and metal-bristle grill brushes.

Looking to show the place ASAP.

CNN
CNN
CNN

 

Watch: North Carolina GOP Senate Candidate Claims Food Stamps Are "Slavery"

| Tue Jan. 14, 2014 12:39 PM EST
North Carolina Senate candidate Greg Brannon

North Carolina Republican Senate candidate Greg Brannon has an interesting argument for eliminating food stamps: "slavery." In a videotaped interview with the North Carolina Tea Party in October, Brannon, a Rand Paul-endorsed doctor who is top contender for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan, cited James Madison in making the case for abolishing the Department of Agriculture—and with it, the $76 billion-a-year Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps. Brannon has a real chance of winning: A December poll from Public Policy Polling found the GOP primary field split but showed him leading Hagan, 45-43.

"We're taking our plunder, that's taken from us as individuals, [giving] it to the government, and the government is now keeping itself in power by giving these goodies away," Brannon said in the interview. "The answer is the Department of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. And now 80 percent of the farm bill was food stamps. That enslaves people. What you want to do, it's crazy but it's true, teach people to fish instead of giving them fish. When you're at the behest of somebody else, you are actually a slavery to them [sic]. That kind of charity does not make people freer."

It's something of a mixed metaphor, because Brannon is suggesting that people on food stamps are lazy, while also conflating them with a system of labor exploitation in which people were literally worked to death. (Also: Madison liked slavery.)

Food stamps aren't the only thing Brannon believes is subjecting Americans to the cruelties of the chattel system. At the RedState Gathering in November, an annual event organized by the influential conservative website, Brannon suggested that bipartisan compromises also "enslave" Americans.

A call to Brannon's campaign was not immediately returned. We'll update this post if he responds.

Thu May. 12, 2011 8:31 AM EDT
Thu May. 12, 2011 6:00 AM EDT
Wed May. 11, 2011 1:04 PM EDT
Thu May. 5, 2011 11:55 AM EDT
Thu May. 5, 2011 6:00 AM EDT
Mon May. 2, 2011 1:25 PM EDT
Fri Apr. 29, 2011 9:06 AM EDT
Wed Apr. 27, 2011 10:30 AM EDT
Wed Apr. 27, 2011 9:12 AM EDT
Tue Apr. 26, 2011 12:09 PM EDT
Thu Apr. 21, 2011 11:25 AM EDT
Tue Apr. 19, 2011 11:29 AM EDT
Wed Apr. 13, 2011 10:46 AM EDT
Mon Apr. 11, 2011 10:23 AM EDT
Wed Apr. 6, 2011 10:30 AM EDT
Thu Mar. 31, 2011 12:08 PM EDT
Wed Mar. 30, 2011 10:43 AM EDT
Tue Mar. 29, 2011 10:54 AM EDT
Sat Mar. 26, 2011 7:30 PM EDT
Fri Mar. 25, 2011 3:20 PM EDT
Fri Mar. 25, 2011 3:01 AM EDT
Tue Mar. 22, 2011 12:59 PM EDT
Thu Mar. 17, 2011 4:28 PM EDT