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 |

The Week in Sharia: Obama's Extremely Covert Plan

| Fri Feb. 25, 2011 4:26 PM EST

One thing led to another:

  • New Hampshire heard arguments from citizens about a bill to ban gay marriage. Concerned citizen Howard Kaufman took to the floor of the state house to float the second-wackiest conspiracy theory of the week: Gay marriage is a secret gateway to Islamic law.
  • The wackiest conspiracy of the week? That belongs Avi Lipkin, an American-born Israeli who revealed (scoop!) that President Obama is pushing for amnesty for undocumented residents as part of a secret plot to flood the nation with 100 million Muslims. As MoJo's David Corn explains, the plan is to "turn this country into an Islamic nation by the end of his second term." And the United Nations is in on it!
  • The American Bar Association is in on it, too.
  • At a town hall meeting in Pompano Beach, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) was asked by the director of CAIR's South Florida chapter why he thinks Islam is so horrible. West, who's been floated as a vice presidential candidate, responded: "I've been on the battlefield, my friend. Don't try to blow sunshine up my butt and tell me it's warm and fuzzy." Which is gross.
  • West appeared on Fox and Friends to explain what he meant on Wednesday, and, after first labeling Muslims "an enemy,"warned that he would not tolerate being portrayed as an "enemy of Islam." Because seriously, where did anyone get that idea?
  • A Texas man who set fire to the playground of an Arlington Islamic center last July pled guilty to federal hate crime charges.
  • Tennessee has already banned Islamic law. But just in case they missed something the first time around, Volunteer State lawmakers are going to try to do it again. A proposed bill before the state legislature would make "material support" for Islamic law punishable by 15 years in prison. Per the bill, "The knowing adherence to sharia and to foreign sharia authorities is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the United States government." Among the ways you can show adherence to Sharia: getting married, not robbing banks.

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Fla. Mayoral Candidate Jokes About Bombing Abortion Clinic

| Thu Feb. 24, 2011 2:30 PM EST

Facebook/ Mike Hogan for Mayor Jacksonville FLFacebook/ Mike Hogan for MayorFebruary's been a busy month in the war on reproductive rights. Last week, MoJo's Kate Sheppard broke the story about an effort in South Dakota to classify the murder of abortion doctors as a "justifiable homicide" (the bill was scrapped); this morning we told you about a similar effort in Nebraska, which the Omaha Police Department says could incite violence; and in Georgia, lawmakers are considering a bill that would conceivably permit the state to execute women who have miscarriages.

The legislators behind these efforts have generally deflected criticism by arguing that their bills are being misinterpreted. But Jacksonville, Florida mayoral candidate Mike Hogan doesn't really have that option. Participating at a candidate forum at a Catholic church on Monday, Hogan emphasized his long-standing opposition to Roe v. Wade, which is to be expected from a conservative Republican. But then he went one step further:

Hogan added that the only thing he wouldn't do was bomb an abortion clinic, then the law-and-order advocate added, with a laugh, "but it may cross my mind."

The Mandarin crowd applauded.

In a follow-up interview with the Florida Times-Union, Hogan emphasized that his comments shouldn't be taken seriously, because he was only pandering. "I mean, I'm not going to be politically correct," he told the paper. "That was a joke. This was an audience for this. This is a Catholic Church. I guarantee you they are 110 percent pro-life." 

Music Monday: The Presidential Mixtape

| Mon Feb. 21, 2011 7:56 AM EST

As you're surely aware, today's Presidents Day. And what better way to celebrate than with a mixtape? We scoured the Internet for a song about each president—44 in all, provided you count Grover Cleveland twice. The result is an odd mix, probably inappropriate for your next house party, but redeeming in its own way: Come for the Blind Willie Johnson, stick around for the straight-to-YouTube ballad performed by a Martin Van Buren impersonator (it's a niche market). In a neat twist, the most difficult president to find a song for, Chester A. Arthur, was also the one with the richest musical legacy: Chester Arthur Burnett, whom you know as Howlin' Wolf (Warren G., alas, is not short for Warren Gamaliel).

Anyways, check out the playlist here. And in the meantime, here's my all-time favorite: "No More Kings," by Schoolhouse Rock, via Pavement:

SD Rep. Who Authored Abortion Bill Nixes Sharia Ban

| Fri Feb. 18, 2011 2:38 PM EST

On Tuesday, MoJo's Kate Sheppard broke the news about a controversial new bill in front of the South Dakota legislature that would (in some instances) classify murder in defense of an unborn child "justifiable homicide." After initially defending the language, the bill's sponsor, Rep. Phil Jensen, caved, and legislators scrapped the bill on Wednesday. Now he's backed down from another piece of controversial legislation which, according to legal experts, could have had similarly drastic consequences.

As Adam Serwer noted when the news first broke, Jensen was also the the author of HJR 1004, a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the use of "international law, the law of any foreign nation or any foreign religious or moral code" in state courts. Sharia, in other words. Jensen couldn't just write that, because so explicitly targeting a religious tradition would, as Oklahomans learned, pretty much make the law DOA in the event of a lawsuit. So Jensen used the vaguest language possible—and it turns out, that can backfire too.

According to Roger Baron, a professor of family law at the University of South Dakota, the ammendment's prohibition on foreign laws would remove the state from a number of agreements concerning child custody and child abduction. Because those agreements hinge on reciprocity, "foreign countries will not enforce our custody decrees," he warned in a letter to policymakers in Pierre, which he provided to Mother Jones. "The result will be that a disappointed custody litigant will have every motivation to improperly take the child to a foreign country and remain beyond the reach of international law."

Mon Jul. 21, 2014 3:33 PM EDT
Tue Jun. 10, 2014 9:26 PM EDT
Tue May. 6, 2014 10:03 PM EDT
Tue Apr. 15, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
Fri Mar. 28, 2014 7:41 AM EDT
Thu Jan. 30, 2014 7:00 AM EST
Tue Jan. 28, 2014 3:35 PM EST