Tim Murphy

Tim Murphy

Reporter

Tim Murphy is a senior reporter in MoJo's DC bureau. His writing has been featured in Slate and the Washington Monthly. Email him with tips and insights at tmurphy [at] motherjones [dot] com.

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Texas GOPer Tweets Image of Noose for Republicans Who Even Debate Background Checks

| Fri Apr. 12, 2013 11:53 AM EDT

On Thursday, 16 Republican senators voted to move forward with debate on gun control legislation. Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman's response: hang them.

Smitherman, a Republican who oversees the state's oil and gas industry (the name is a bit of an anachronism) retweeted an image listing all 16 GOP senators, along with an image of a noose with "treason" on top of it:

Smitherman still has a long way to go if he wants to claim the biggest overreaction to gun control legislation. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) alleged that national firearms databases could lead to "evil consequences"—such as genocide.

Update: The image has been taken down, but here it is:

 

Scott Brown to Give Speech on Over-Regulation of Hedge Funds at Hedge Fund-Sponsored Conference

| Fri Apr. 12, 2013 10:48 AM EDT

If Scott Brown really is thinking of running for Senate in New Hampshire next year, he has an odd way of showing it. In May, the former Massachusetts Republican senator will travel to Las Vegas to give a topic at the SALT Conference, an annual confab put on by the hedge-fund giant Skybridge Capital. His topic: The consequences of over-regulating hedge funds.

SALT

Although Brown touted his crucial vote for the Dodd–Frank Wall Street reform law during his re-election campaign against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, he was widely credited with watering the financial-reform legislation at the behest of Wall Street interests. Among other things, Brown used his position as a tie-breaker to loosen the regulations on how much control banks could have over hedge funds, and to make it easier for them to use federal bailout funds to bail out failing hedge funds. (He brought in more than $3 million in campaign donations from the financial sector during his two campaigns.) Sure enough, in March Brown took a new gig at Nixon Peabody LLC, a law firm that services large Wall Street shops. As a release from the company explained at the time, "Brown will focus his practice on business and governmental affairs as they relate to the financial services industry."

The trip to Vegas looks like a sign he's focusing on the job he has now, not the job he might want later.

McConnell Campaign Manager Decries "Gestapo" Tactics

| Wed Apr. 10, 2013 3:39 PM EDT
Sen. minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

A day after Mother Jones published audio of a Louisville meeting in which Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his campaign staff discussed opposition research on prospective challengers, McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton has validated Godwin's law by playing the Hitler card. In an interview with NBC News, Benton compared the leaking of the recording to Nazi Germany. "This is Gestapo-kind of scare tactics, and we're not going to stand for it," Benton told Michael O'Brien.

The Gestapo, who served as Hitler's secret police from 1933 until 1945, were best known for enforcing a reign of terror typified by abductions and executions, as well as aiding and abetting genocide. That's all quite a bit different than recording 12 minutes of a political strategy session or publishing a legally-obtained tape.

And there's no evidence that the audio was the result, as the McConnell campaign has insisted, of a Watergate-style bugging operation. Still, that hasn't stopped McConnell from taking the opportunity to play the victim, blasting out a fundraising pitch accusing the "liberal media" of "illegal and underhanded tactics."

Update: Aaron Keyak, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, just released this statement calling on McConnell to repudiate the use of "gestapo":

Senator Mitch McConnell—the most powerful Republican in the Senate—must denounce his campaign manager's inappropriate use of 'Gestapo,' which comes just days after Holocaust Remembrance Day. If McConnell chooses to remain silent on this matter and tolerate this offensive rhetoric, it will disrespectful to those who were murdered and abused by the actual Gestapo.

WATCH: Kentucky Parents Discover Sequestration Will Close Their Head Start Program

| Wed Apr. 10, 2013 12:37 PM EDT

In Henderson County, Kentucky, sequestration has consequences. With Congress showing no signs of breaking its impasse on the massive cuts mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act, the school district found itself looking to cut $1 million in funding. One of the first casualties: a local Head Start program, which will now close in early May 3, about a month earlier than originally scheduled. That means parents are now stuck figuring out where to put their kids for the rest of the year—and how to pay for it.

As one parent told Owensboro's NBC affiliate, WFIE, "All through school we hear the slogan 'No Child Left Behind.' And now, apparently, all the three-year-olds are."

Take a look:

14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

On Wednesday, President Obama unveiled his new budget proposal which, among other things, looks to expand federal funding for pre-school by raising taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products. That's too little, too late for the parents with three-year-olds in Henderson County, though.

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