Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2011/03 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 18, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-18-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0418-630x354.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>A Soldier guides the driver of an Avenger weapon system before they fired the .50-caliber machine gun April 8, 2014 as part of the Avenger Master Gunner Course at Fort Sill, Okla. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/13779845874/" target="_blank">Photo</a> by Marie Berberea, Cannoneer staff)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:00:22 +0000 249851 at http://www.motherjones.com Corn on Hardball: The GOP's Dangerous Decision to Support and Encourage Cliven Bundy http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/david-corn-hardball-gop-dangerous-decision-support-cliven-bundy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Washington bureau chief David Corn spoke on MSNBC's "Hardball" about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck" target="_blank">Right's support</a> of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/04/cliven-bundy-exposes-cravenness-modern-right" target="_blank">Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy</a>, who has refused to pay standard grazing fees on federal land for the past 20 years. He pointed out the irony of the GOP supporting Bundy's fight for a free ride, as well as the danger of encouraging and validating potentially violent extremists.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe border="no" height="494" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hardball_2bundy_140416" width="630"></iframe></p> </body></html> MoJo Video Food and Ag The Right Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:54 +0000 250041 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Really Doesn't Want to Talk About His McConnell Endorsement http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/rand-paul-mcconnell-endorsement <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>A tea party revolutionary four years ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has bucked many of his old supporters by backing Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, in McConnell's primary against Matt Bevin, a hedge fund executive backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund. Why would Paul do such a thing? He has been cagey, to say the least. "He asked me when there was nobody else in the race, and I said yes," the junior senator <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-mitch-mcconnell-reelection-glenn-beck-interview" target="_blank">told</a> Glenn Beck in February. Evidently even that was too verbose. Per the <a href="http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/local/x360404491/U-S-Sen-Rand-Paul-visits-Edmonton" target="_blank"><em>Glasgow (Ky.) Daily Times</em></a>, Paul has now taken his answer off the record:</p> <blockquote> <p>After addressing about 30 people who turned out to hear him, the senator opened the floor for questions.</p> <p>One constituent asked him why he came out in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville.</p> <p>Paul declined to answer the question publicly, saying he would speak with her in private and explain his reason for supporting the senior senator.</p> </blockquote> <p>Paul family political guru Jesse Benton, who is now managing McConnell's re-election campaign, told a tea party activist in a <a href="http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/08/mitch-mcconnell-campaign-manager-im.html" target="_blank">secretly-recorded conversation</a> last year that, "between you and me, I'm sort of holdin' my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16, so that's my long vision."</p> <p>One reason Paul might decide to keep his explanation private: His answer sounds a lot like Benton's.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:31:13 +0000 Tim Murphy 249986 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 17, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-17-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0417-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines put out a controlled fire on a mobile aircraft fire training device at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma April 7 during a visit from Girl Scouts. The firefighting display showed how the Marines respond to an emergency situation. The mission of Girl Scouts of America is to build the courage, confidence and character of girls, who can then make the world a better place, according to their website. The Marines are aircraft rescue and firefighting specialists with ARFF, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13761993675/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:10 +0000 249846 at http://www.motherjones.com Federal Court Rules North Dakota's Extreme Abortion Ban Unconstitutional http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/north-dakota-abortion-fetal-heartbeat-ban-unconstitutional <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a North Dakota law that would have banned all abortions after a heartbeat is detectable in the fetus, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The judge, Daniel Hovland, called the ban&mdash;which passed last year and was immediately challenged by the <a href="http://www.redriverwomensclinic.com/" target="_blank">Red River Women's Clinic</a>, the only abortion provider in the state&mdash;"invalid and unconstitutional," and said it would impose an "undue burden on women seeking to obtain an abortion."</p> <p>The North Dakota law is <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-north-dakota-abortion-law-unconstitutional-23348578" target="_blank">one of the most far-reaching</a> abortion bans in the country. Many women aren't aware that they are pregnant until well after six weeks into a pregnancy. Under the North Dakota law, those women wouldn't be able to seek abortions at all.</p> <p>North Dakota is one of several states that have pushed laws banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. In March, a federal judge struck down a <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/17/ark-heartbeat-abortion-law-blocked/" target="_blank">similar ban</a> Arkansas had passed last year. But losses in the courts haven't stopped these efforts from spreading&mdash;the Alabama House <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/alabama-abortion-bill_n_4900059.html" target="_blank">passed</a> a fetal heartbeat bill last month, and state legislatures in Wyoming, Mississippi, and Ohio have <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/31/1517821/fetal-heartbeat-bills-to-watch/" target="_blank">considered</a> similar legislation in the past year.</p> </body></html> MoJo Courts Health Health Care Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:34:52 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 249956 at http://www.motherjones.com Martinez Aide Who Said Latino Icon "Sounds Like a Retard" Now Works at Agency Serving Mentally Disabled http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/matt-kennicott-ben-lujan-retard <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday, <em>Mother Jones</em> published a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">story</a> about New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a rising GOP star, that draws on previously unreleased audio recordings from her 2010 campaign.</p> <p>In one of the many unflattering moments revealed by the tapes, Matt Kennicott, then Martinez's deputy campaign manager and policy director, comments on the accent of former House speaker Ben Luj&aacute;n, saying, "Somebody told me he's absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard."</p> <p>As it turns out, Matt Kennicott now works for a state agency charged with providing key services to people with mental disabilities. As the Communications Director for New Mexico's <a href="http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/About_the_Department.aspx" target="_blank">Human Services Department (HSD)</a>, Kennicott is, according to his LinkedIn account, responsible for developing "messaging and talking points for various program areas." He also serves as the "chief negotiator on legislative priorities around health care and public assistance policy."</p> <p>The department's $4.97 billion budget is the largest of any state agency. It oversees mental health services for 85,000 New Mexicans, including programs for low-income individuals with disabilities and behavioral health care for people with mental illness.</p> <p>Lawrence Rael, a Democrat hoping to unseat Martinez in 2014, issued a <a href="http://roundhouseroundup.blogspot.com/2014/04/mother-jones-scorches-gov-susana.html" target="_blank">statement</a> shortly after the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">story</a> was published calling Martinez's decision to hire Kennicott at HSD "unconscionable." Kennicott did not respond to multiple requests from <em>Mother Jones</em> to comment on the clip.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144255338&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Health Health Care The Right Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:10:09 +0000 Julia Lurie 249961 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Congressional Candidate Shoots Down Drone in New Ad http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/montana-matt-rosendale-drone <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dOoXJI4vBns" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In Montana congressional candidate Matt Rosendale's newest ad, which you can you can watch above, Rosendale aims a sighted rifle at a "government drone" and blows it away, before sending a message to the Obama administration: "Spying on our citizens&mdash;that's just wrong."</p> <p>This isn't the first attempt by Rosendale, a state representative who is seeking the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Steve Daines in Congress next fall, to make nice with his state's far-right elements. In December <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/matt-rosendale-montana-rothschilds-rockefellers" target="_blank">Rosendale attended</a> an event held by a group called Defend Rural America, whose founder, Kirk MacKenzie, called environmentalists "domestic terrorists." And although this is the first time a candidate has pretended to shoot down a drone, politicians <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/06/brief-history-politicians-blowing-things" target="_blank">have a long history</a> of blowing things up in campaign ads. In 2008, Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer used a double-barreled shotgun to blast the federal Real ID law into tiny bits.</p> <p>As always, <em>Mother Jones</em> reminds you that if you must ritually annihilate a federal policy in a campaign ad, you should at least wear safety goggles and ear plugs.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:52:29 +0000 Tim Murphy 249931 at http://www.motherjones.com Gov. Susana Martinez Reacts to Mother Jones Story: "One of the Most Desperate and Despicable Attacks" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/susana-martinez-new-mexico-responds-mother-jones <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday morning, <em>Mother Jones</em> published <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">a cover story</a> about New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a rising star in the Republican Party, that draws&nbsp;on <a href="https://soundcloud.com/mother-jones/sets/martinez" target="_blank">previously unreleased audio recordings</a>, emails, and text messages. In these audio tapes, she and her aides use crude and often offensive language when referring to political opponents.&nbsp;Martinez's reelection campaign immediately responded.</p> <p>In an email blast to supporters, Martinez attacked&nbsp;the messenger, calling <em>Mother Jones</em> a "tabloid" and "one of the most radically liberal publications in the country." Martinez accused <em>Mother Jones</em> of "peddling false, personal attacks against me, using stolen audiotapes from our debate prep sessions four years ago." She claimed&nbsp;that "this shows just how far the Left is willing to go to stop reforms in New Mexico." In the email, Martinez does admit to calling 2010 Democratic opponent&nbsp;Diane Denish&nbsp;"the B-word," adding, "I admit it&mdash;I've had to fund the cuss jar a few times in my life." Her email ends with a plea for a campaign contribution.</p> <p>Her email neglects to address several parts of the story, such as the reports that Martinez's top adviser, Jay McCleskey, wrote "I HATE THAT FUCKING BITCH!" about a fellow GOP pol, and that a former Martinez adviser mocked New Mexico political icon Ben Luj&aacute;n for his English-speaking abilities, saying he "sounds like a retard."</p> <p>Martinez's campaign has also created a <a href="http://www.susanamartinez.com/landing/liberal-media/?utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=t.co&amp;utm_campaign=20140416_sm-lb-motherjonestw4.16_twitter&amp;utm_content=sm">petition</a> describing <em>Mother Jones</em> as "the far-left's premier magazine" and calls the story "one of the most desperate and despicable attacks to date." The Martinez campaign's message goes on to ask supporters to sign&nbsp;a petition ostensibly to "show the D.C. liberal media that their desperate attacks have no place in our state."</p> <p>Here's the petition:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/martinez-petition-630.jpg"></div> <p>Martinez's campaign has made full use of social media in its pushback, buying a promoted tweet on Twitter urging people to "stand with me":</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/martinez-promoted-tweet-response.jpg"></div> <p>Similarly, she&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SusanaMartinezFan">asked&nbsp;her Facebook friends</a> to "stand with me against the D.C. liberal media and show them that their Washington-style attacks have no place in our state."</p> <p>Martinez did retweet a link to <em>Mother Jones</em>' story that was tweeted by Buzzfeed writer McKay Coppins&mdash;only to <a href="http://politwoops.sunlightfoundation.com/tweet/456434221456687104">delete her tweet</a> 14 seconds later.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections The Right Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:16:54 +0000 Andy Kroll 249941 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 16, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-16-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0416-630x354.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines with the Maritime Raid Force, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit prepare to enter the well deck aboard the USS San Diego during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expedtionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) off the coast of San Diego, Calif. April 8, 2014. PMINT is the first at-sea event in the MEU&rsquo;s predeployment training program at which they have the opportunity to conduct amphibious based operations while embarked on a ship. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13780839594/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Cpl. Demetrius Morgan/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:08 +0000 249836 at http://www.motherjones.com Everyone on the Far Right Loves Militia-Backed Rancher Cliven Bundy—Except Glenn Beck http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Conservative activists and media outlets have generally embraced the cause of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher who inspired a gang of protesters&mdash;many of them armed&mdash;to face off with federal law enforcement this weekend. But one figure on the right has taken a surprising stand against Bundy's supporters: former Fox News host Glenn Beck.</p> <p>On Saturday, a large group of anti-government protesters converged on a Bureau of Land Management base camp in rural Nevada to protest the federal government's seizure of Bundy's cows. Bundy had for years grazed hundreds of cattle on protected lands controlled by the federal government and refused to pay the resulting court-ordered fines. This month, after nearly 20 years of consistently beating Bundy in court, the BLM moved to confiscate his cattle. A judge ordered Bundy not to physically interfere. In response, Bundy assembled protesters to confront the BLM officers who were holding his livestock.</p> <p>After a dramatic, two-day standoff, federal officers backed down and handed the cows over to Bundy to avoid violence. Astonishing <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nevada-rancher-feds-face-over-cattle-n79271" target="_blank">photos from the scene</a> show protesters perched on a highway overpass and hunkered down in the brush with long-range weapons; one photo appears to show a man on the bridge <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/" target="_blank">aiming down at the BLM base camp.</a></p> <p>The involvement of armed militiamen&mdash;and Bundy's promise to "do whatever it takes" to reclaim his cattle&mdash;doesn't appear to phase conservative activists who have turned Bundy into a cause c&eacute;l&egrave;bre. Before this weekend's confrontation, <em>National Review Online</em>, <em>Fox &amp; Friends, </em>and <em>American</em><em> Thinker</em> all blamed the government for <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/10/right-wing-media-are-throwing-gas-on-a-ranchers/198841" target="_blank">mounting tensions</a>. Two groups affiliated with Americans for Prosperity, a political organization funded primarily by the Koch brothers, spent the weekend tweeting their support for Bundy, <em>Media Matters</em> <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/11/feds-turn-from-landlords-to-warlords-koch-group/198857" target="_blank">reported</a><em>.</em> Sean Hannity, who on Friday <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=armAcbEO1PE#t=255" target="_blank">hailed Bundy</a> as a capitalist hero&mdash;"When your cattle graze there, that keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer"&mdash;invited Bundy back on the air Monday for <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/04/14/hannity-gives-platform-for-lawless-rancher-to-d/198892" target="_blank">a second, easygoing interview</a> in which he made only glancing reference to the armed confrontation.</p> <p>Beck, though, in an episode of his show broadcast Monday, said he fully supports Bundy's principles but <a href="http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/04/14/inciting-violence-doesnt-solve-anything-glenn-denounces-violence-in-response-to-nevada-ranch-conflict/" target="_blank">couldn't look past</a> his supporters:</p> <blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">The problem here is that Bundy hasn't been all that clear on this&hellip;He's a rancher. And so he's not used to making his sound bite case in this sound bite world. But the problem with that lack of clarity is some of the supporters that he's attracting. He is drawing in the decent, small government proponents from groups such as the tea party&hellip;I know there's some people that listen [to] and watch me. And they are sick of the government regulations hampering themselves, small businesses, farming, I'm with you on that.</p> <p class="rteindent1">But when you're not really super clear, it also draws another element, drawing in the violent, anti-government groups. The, I think, right's version of Occupy Wall Street. We did some research online on PsyID [a social-media analysis tool] today, and found that there's about 10 to 15 percent of the people who are talking about this online that are truly frightening. They don't care what the facts are&mdash;they just want a fight. And you see it in some of these pictures.</p> </blockquote> <p>At this point, video played behind Beck of protesters scuffling with federal officers.</p> <blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">I don't know who these people are. They all might be great. But here they are, they're acting, they're enraged, they're enraged. And they're confronting the federal government officials. I get that. But this is not the way to win&hellip;I want to be clear, 100 percent clean on one thing all of us should agree on, and unfortunately, I don't believe we do, both left and right. And that is, we need to agree on, we condemn those who use violence. Inciting violence doesn't solve anything. I vehemently denounce anyone who even hints at such tactics&hellip;People can spot anger and vengeance from a mile away. And when I saw that video where they were lunging and jumping at the agents, calling them scumbags, I thought, this is our side's Occupy Wall Street. It's happening all over again, and it will end the same way.</p> </blockquote> <p>Beck didn't specifically call out the armed protesters, and the<em> Blaze</em>, a website that is part of his media empire, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/10/right-wing-media-are-throwing-gas-on-a-ranchers/198841" target="_blank">played up</a> the federal government's role in bringing the crisis to a head. Beck claims the facts of the federal government's actions against Bundy are "convoluted" (when they're <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/" target="_blank">pretty well established</a>) and equates heavily armed protesters with Occupy Wall Street. But there's no doubt that he took a stand against the extreme elements among Bundy's supporters. And when Glenn Beck approximates a reasonable position on the same night that a blood moon rises, you've got to second-guess the folks who say <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/04/blood-moon-end-of-days-john-hagee" target="_blank">the world isn't coming to an end</a>.</p> </body></html> MoJo The Right Top Stories Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:36:32 +0000 Molly Redden 249866 at http://www.motherjones.com This is the Best/Worst Campaign Video of 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/what-is-this-chris-mcdaniel-video <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Depending on where you stand, this is either the best piece of political performance art of the 2014 election or the worst. Or maybe it's both. Supporters of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/chris-mcdaniel-bryan-fischer-reparations" target="_blank">embattled</a> Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel, who is challenging longtime incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) in the June primary, have composed this charming jingle, asking Cochran to "please come home." These kinds of supporter-generated videos can often be tacky and amateurish, or woefully off-message. But this&mdash;this is art. Watch:</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/k27-HC90dzc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Lyrics below:</p> <blockquote> <p>Won't you come home Thad Cochran,<br> Won't you come home,<br> You've been there way too long,<br> We sent you up there, to do what's right,<br> But now you done us wrong</p> <p>Remember that crazy health care, that gun control,<br> You voted for was oh so wrong,<br> Well, it's really a shame,<br> And you're partly to blame,<br> Thad Cochran won't you please come home.</p> <p>2nd Chorus</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Won't you come home Thad Cochran,<br> Won't you come home,<br> Our party's gone off track,<br> With Chris McDaniel, we've got a chance,<br> To bring our party back,</p> <p>So pack your suitcase, and grab your hat,<br> Then catch a ride and get here fast,<br> We know you did your best,<br> But it's time for a rest,<br> We hope this term be your last!</p> <p>3rd Chorus<br> Won't you come home Thad Cochran,<br> Won't you come home,<br> You're spending way too much,<br> You've raised the ceiling of debt so high,<br> This country can't catch up...</p> <p>And your pork barrel, is filled so full,<br> I think that it just may bust!<br> Please hear our call, as we plead one and all,<br> Thad Cochran, won't you please come home.</p> </blockquote> <p>Note: Thad Cochran doesn't wear a hat:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="" class="image" src="/files/cochran.jpg"><div class="caption">Pete Marovich/ ZumaPress</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Music Offbeat Tue, 15 Apr 2014 20:54:19 +0000 Tim Murphy 249886 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Senate Candidate Looks For Help From Radio Host Who Wants to Jail Gays http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/chris-mcdaniel-bryan-fischer-reparations <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Mississippi GOP Senate candidate Chris McDaniel appeared&nbsp;on a radio program on Monday hosted by a controversial&nbsp;social conservative activist who has called for gay people to be <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-make-homosexuality-criminal-offense" target="_blank">imprisoned</a> and has said the "the spirit of the Antichrist is at work" in the Obama White House.</p> <p>McDaniel, a state senator who is challenging incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran for the GOP nomination, has taken heat over the last week for past comments he made on his own radio show, "The Right Side," which were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/mississippi-senate-candidate-laments-lack-muslim-movie-villains-audio" target="_blank">reported</a> by <em>Mother Jones</em> in January. The comments, recently picked up by the <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/04/10/miss-senate-hopeful-chris-mcdaniel-riffed-on-mamacita-reparations/" target="_blank"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>, featured a riff on the merits of using taxpayer funds to pay reparations to the&nbsp;descendants of slaves. "If they pass reparations, and my taxes are going up, I ain't paying taxes," the tea party favorite said in 2006. His appearance Monday on "Focal Point" with host Bryan Fischer, the issues director for the American Family Association, was an opportunity to clear the record.</p> <p>"They're desperate," McDaniel told Fischer. "And when these politicians and the establishment in Washington feels threatened, they always react with desperation. I was a conservative talk radio [host], actually it was a Christian conservative talk radio show for three and a half four years I hosted that. Two hours a day. And this is the best they've got? Most of it is way out of context anyway. They were talking about reparations, for example&mdash;let me be real clear, I'm against reparations. I don't know why that's a bad thing to say. Maybe Sen. Cochran's <em>for</em> reparations? He should clarify that for us. But I'm against it. And some of the other things, we were just sitting there, no harm was meant."</p> <p>In other clips from "The Right Side," McDaniel alleged that Democrats were plotting to make polygamy legal in all 50 states, and that Hollywood was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/mississippi-senate-candidate-laments-lack-muslim-movie-villains-audio" target="_blank">whitewashing</a> the evils of Islam. He mocked San Francisco "elites" by alleging a correlation between IQ and "gender misidentification," and blamed an uptick of gun violence in Canada on hip-hop. Shootings, McDaniels&nbsp;claimed, are "a problem of a culture that values prison more than college; a culture that values rap and destruction of community values more than it does poetry; a culture that can't stand education."</p> <p>But Fischer's show&nbsp;is an unusual choice for a politician looking to launder his reputation as a conservative shock-jock. In March, Fischer <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fischer-spirit-antichrist-work-obama" target="_blank">told</a> his listeners that while he didn't think President Obama is the antichrist, "the spirit of the Antichrist is at work" in the Oval Office. He has said that people turn to homosexuality (which he'd like criminalized) when the Devil <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-urges-gay-people-remove-satanic-force-their-brain-makes-them-gay" target="_blank">takes over their brains</a>. He once called for a Sea World Orca whale to be Biblically stoned after it killed its trainer. He <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/bryan-fischer-explains-why-he-only-hires-women-secretaries" target="_blank">said</a> the secretarial&nbsp;job in his office is "reserved for a woman because of the unique things that God has built into women." Even some Republicans have distanced themselves from Fischer&mdash;at the 2011 Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., Mitt Romney condemned Fischer's "poisonous language."</p> <p>McDaniel has received the backing of major Republican groups, including the Senate Conservatives Fund and Club for Growth, but still faces an uphill battle. An April survey from Harper Polling gave Cochran a double-digit edge over McDaniel, 52&ndash;35.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Gay Rights Religion Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:36:20 +0000 Tim Murphy 249771 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 15, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-15-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0415-630x354.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Cpl. Rashawn Poitevien, 6th Marine Regiment, 3rd Battalion, Headquarters and Service Company, Scout Snipers Platoon, engages targets downrange with an M40A5 during the Talon Exercise at Yuma Proving Grounds, Ariz., March 28, 2014. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13777949135/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Lance Cpl. Christopher A. Mendoza/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Tue, 15 Apr 2014 14:17:13 +0000 249786 at http://www.motherjones.com A Federal Judge Just Struck Down Part of Ohio's Gay Marriage Ban. See How Fast the Movement Is Spreading. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/federal-judge-struck-down-ohio-gay-marriage-ban-map-gif <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Ohio made strides toward marriage equality on Monday when <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/04/14/ohio-gay-marriage-court/7691313/" target="_blank">a federal judge ruled</a> that the state's ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed out of state is unconstitutional.</p> <p>The ruling, from US District Judge Timothy H. Black of Cincinnati, overturns part of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and woman. Ohio voters approved the amendment in 2004. "The record before this court ... is staggeringly devoid of any legitimate justification for the state's ongoing arbitrary discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation," Black wrote in his opinion.</p> <p>Black didn't clear the way for same-sex couples to obtain marriage certificates in Ohio. But it does afford Ohio's same-sex couples the same rights under the law as any other married couple&mdash;so long as the ruling stands. On Tuesday, Black will decide whether to stay his ruling pending an appeal by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.&nbsp;</p> <p>Black announced that he would compel the state of Ohio to recognize existing marriages on April 4, after he heard <a href="http://www.wlwt.com/news/Judge-to-end-Ohio-ban-on-recognizing-gay-marriage/25321398" target="_blank">arguments</a> from three couples challenging the ban. The three lesbian couples were suing to place both parents' names on the birth certificates of their newborn children. For the couples, the ruling is a victory no matter what&mdash;Black has said he won't stay the part of the decision that compels Ohio to list both parents on their child's birth certificate.</p> <p>Ohio is the seventh state in the past six months where a federal judge has struck a blow to same-sex marriage bans. In March, a federal judge in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/michigan-begins-same-sex-marriages-ceremonies/2014/03/22/320ff2ba-b1c5-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html" target="_blank">Michigan</a> handed down an opinion that would allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and a federal judge in Kentucky <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/19/kentucky-gay-marriage_n_4995364.html" target="_blank">moved the state closer</a> to recognizing out-of-state marriages. Judges in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Texas have also issued rulings striking down bans on same-sex marriage.</p> <p>We've added Ohio to our animated map illustrating how fast the right to marriage is sweeping the county:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"> <img alt="gay marriage map gif" class="image" src="/files/SSMgifEdited-0414.gif"><div class="caption">Matt Connolly and Molly Redden</div> </div> <p>A few things to note about the map: Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Texas are not issuing marriage licenses due to the appeals, although in <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/crime/michigan-begins-same-sex-marriages-ceremonies/2014/03/22/320ff2ba-b1c5-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html" target="_blank">Michigan</a> and <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-utah-marriage-rally-20140110,0,1238382.story#axzz2q9y0fDNs" target="_blank">Utah</a>, several hundred couples were married in the time it took the states to prepare appeals.</p> <p>The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT advocacy organization, <a href="http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/marriage-center" target="_blank">characterizes Wisconsin's domestic partnerships</a> as limited&mdash;the state law <a href="http://www.examiner.com/article/madisons-pride-parade-garners-strong-uu-support-implicitly-asks-old-questions" target="_blank">enumerates</a> 43 rights same-sex partners enjoy, whereas married couples of the opposite sex are entitled to more than 200. Under Wisconsin law, <a href="http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/765.pdf" target="_blank">it is illegal</a> for same-sex couples to travel out of state in order to marry; couples who do so, and continue living in Wisconsin, risk <a href="http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2014/0203/Same-sex-marriage-Four-Wisconsin-couples-challenge-state-ban-video" target="_blank">a $10,000 fine and nine months in prison</a>.</p> <p>The map does not show the District of Columbia, which has issued licenses to same-sex couples since March 2010. California issued marriage licenses beginning in June of 2008 but stopped doing so that November, when voters passed Proposition 8. A Supreme Court decision overturned Prop. 8 in June 2013.</p> </body></html> MoJo Maps Civil Liberties Gay Rights Top Stories gay marriage Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:23:19 +0000 Molly Redden 249161 at http://www.motherjones.com LISTEN: Alleged Kansas Gunman Frazier Glenn Miller Discusses the Tea Party, Obama, and Ron Paul http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/frazier-glenn-miller-interview-tea-party-ron-paul-obama-kansas <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <object height="354" width="630"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/MBl7-Q1CMlE?hl=en_US&amp;version=3"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"> <embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/v/MBl7-Q1CMlE?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"></embed></object> <p>In a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBl7-Q1CMlE" target="_blank">2010 radio interview</a>, Frazier Glenn Miller, the man suspected&nbsp;of killing three people Sunday at a Jewish community center and a Jewish retirement center in Kansas, said he was interested in the tea party, voiced support for then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and spoke approvingly of Ron Paul, the Texas Republican congressman and presidential candidate. In late April&nbsp;2010, Miller, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, was a guest on <em><a href="http://www.davidpakman.com/" target="_blank">The David Pakman Show</a></em>, a nationally syndicated left-of-center radio and television program. At the time, Miller was running for US Senate as an independent in his home state of Missouri with the slogan "It's the Jews, Stupid," and Pakman pressed Miller on his extreme views.</p> <p>During the interview, Miller was unabashed about his anti-Semitic positions. When asked whether he thought the United States would be better off if Hitler had succeeded, Miller responded, "Absolutely, the whole world would&hellip;Hitler would have created a paradise on Earth, particularly for white people. But he would have been fair to other people as well." He added, "Germans are blamed collectively because of the alleged so-called Holocaust."</p> <p>Not surprisingly, Miller denigrated most American politicians, but cited one positively: "If I had my way [all US senators] would be in jail right now for treason, if not hung from a sturdy oak tree&hellip;Ron Paul is the only independent politician, representative in Washington." He also spoke highly of another conservative: "Patrick Buchanan, he's a great man, he's a great historian, he's one of the very few journalists who has the courage to speak out against Jewish domination in the country." Miller called Howard Stern&nbsp;"a Jew liar." When asked whether he supported the tea party, Miller replied, "The school's still out on them.&nbsp;They're a new movement.&nbsp;I'm watching them closely.&nbsp;I suspect, however, they'll be infiltrated by the Jews and therefore led into defeat."</p> <p>During the interview, Pakman asked Miller whom he would "elect, deport, and waterboard"&mdash;given the choices of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and former Fed chair Alan Greenspan. Miller answered, "I like Obama more than the other two, by far." He chose to elect Obama, deport Greenspan, and waterboard Biden. Miller said, "I have a great deal of admiration [for] Louis Farrakhan," and he called Ahmadinejad "a great man" because he "has guts and he tells the truth about the Jews."</p> <p>"I'm a convicted felon and I'm proud of it," Miller boasted, noting that he "was convicted of declaring war on the federal government and possession of illegal weapons." He added that Jews "were responsible for my conviction that prompted me to go underground and declare war&hellip;Morris Dees mainly, he's a Jew that runs the Southern Poverty Law Center." (The SPLC monitors hate groups.)</p> <p>In November 2013, Pakman had an exchange of <a href="http://www.davidpakman.com/glenn-miller-arrested-suspected-of-multiple-murders/" target="_blank">emails</a> with Miller in which Miller noted that he was "close friends" with Craig Cobb, a white supremacist who had attempted to form an all-white town in Leith, North Dakota. According to Miller, the two had worked together "on several White Nationalist projects, including the <em>Aryan Alternative</em> newspaper." Referring to the recent <a href="http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21591876-hardly-anyone-shares-craig-cobbs-dream-white-christmas-racist-mob-two" target="_blank">news</a> that a DNA test indicated that Cobb had African ancestry, Miller told Pakman, "I can't believe a man as intelligent as you, actually believes Craig Cobb is an octoroon. Surely, you know it's just another jewsmedia fraud."</p> </body></html> MoJo Guns Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:23:26 +0000 Tim Murphy and Dana Liebelson 249711 at http://www.motherjones.com The Lawyer Behind the Supreme Court's Latest Campaign Finance Decision Has a New Cause: Sarah Palin for Senate http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/sarah-palin-senate-alaska-dan-backer-mccutcheon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>When the Supreme Court recently&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/supreme-court-mccutcheon-citizens-united">demolished yet another</a>&nbsp;chunk of the nation's campaign finance laws, Dan Backer&nbsp;arguably&nbsp;cheered louder than anyone. It was Backer, a <a href="http://www.dbcapitalstrategies.com" target="_blank">Washington, DC-area attorney</a> active in conservative politics, who had <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/03/10/dan-backer-campaign-finance-mccutcheon-supreme-court/6259863/">convinced</a> an Alabama businessman named Shaun McCutcheon to challenge the government's limit on the number of candidates, party committees, and political action committees an individual&nbsp;can contribute to in a single election cycle. (The basic limits on <em>how much </em>money that donor can give to each candidate, party, or PAC remain intact.) Backer, who represented McCutcheon, responded to the news of the Supreme Court's decision by <a href="https://twitter.com/DBCapStrategies/status/451359993896656896">tweeting</a>&nbsp;(in apparent reference to William Wallace in <em>Braveheart)</em>: "FREEEEDOMMMMM!!!!"</p> <p>Backer's victory is shining some light&nbsp;on another high-profile cause of his: Convincing Sarah Palin to run for US Senate.</p> <p>In an email headlined "Palin for Senate" recently blasted out by a PAC called the <a href="http://www.theteapartyleadershipfund.com/about/" target="_blank">Tea Party Leadership Fund</a>, Backer writes, "Sarah's the proven leader we need." He goes on, "She has a better grasp on world politics, and she knows what it means to cherish and protect our American freedoms far better than THE MAN WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE LEADING THE FREE WORLD." Backer slams incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) for spending "too much time in Washington, DC, begging the Obama administration for favors rather than representing the good people of Alaska." Palin supporters need to act quick, Backer warns:&nbsp;The window for her to get into the race "has almost closed."&nbsp;And so Backer asks recipients to sign a petition and gather enough signatures to "to push Sarah Palin over the top in a critical run for Alaska's Senate seat in 2014."</p> <p>In an interview, Backer said almost 100,000 people had signed the Palin for Senate petition. If Palin did enter the race,he said the Tea Party Leadership PAC would bolster her candidacy with&nbsp;direct mail and radio ads. "Nobody's going to be a greater agent for change than Sarah Palin from Alaska," Backer told me.&nbsp;"She will bring something to the race and she will disrupt the Senate. And disruption is good."</p> <p>Read the email:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1112091-backer-palin-senate-email">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1112091-backer-palin-senate-email.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1112091-backer-palin-senate-email" }); </script><p>Backer's plea isn't entirely out of left field.&nbsp;Palin has made noises&nbsp;about running for Senate in Alaska. Last summer, she said on Sean Hannity's radio show that she was considering a run. "I've considered it because people have requested me considering it," she&nbsp;<a href="http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/sarah-palin-may-run-for-senate.html">said</a>. "But I'm still waiting to see what the lineup will be and hoping that...there will be some new blood, new energy, not just kind of picking from the same old politicians in the state." But this email comes when it's getting late for a possible Palin campaign.&nbsp;(The filing deadline is six weeks away.) Right now, the much-watched Alaska Senate race pits Begich against Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.&nbsp;Most polling <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/ak/alaska_senate_treadwell_vs_begich-3659.html">shows</a> Begich in the lead, but the seat is <a href="http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/fivethirtyeight-senate-forecast/">considered</a> a toss-up Senate race that could determine which party ends up controlling the upper chamber.</p> <p>Backer's email asks for more than just a signature; it includes a plea to donate $5 or more to the Tea Party Leadership Fund PAC. (Backer is the PAC's treasurer.)&nbsp;A cynical political observer might wonder if this "Palin for Senate" effort could be more of a fundraising ploy than a realistic attempt to get Palin into the race. Campaign records show that the Tea Party Leadership Fund has so far raked in $3.8 million in the 2013-14 election cycle, and most of that money&mdash;almost $9&nbsp;of every $10&mdash;has gone to fundraising, legal fees (to Backer's own firm),&nbsp;consulting, and other related expenses.</p> <p>But Backer says the Tea Party Leadership PAC has spent so much non-electoral money because it was building its donor lists during 2013, an off year. This year, he says, the PAC plans to be a counterweight to the outside money from corporations and trade associations backing establishment Republican candidates. "We knew this was going to be a tough cycle and&nbsp;a tough year," he said.&nbsp;"You need resources you can put on the ground when you need them."</p> </body></html> MoJo Congress Dark Money Elections Money in Politics The Right Mon, 14 Apr 2014 16:23:11 +0000 Andy Kroll 249696 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 14, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-14-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0414-630x354.jpg"></div> <p class="rtecenter"><em>FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. UH 60 Black Hawk helicopters from 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade "Wings of Destiny" transport Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team "Rakkasans" 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), on to Landing Zone Red Crow during Operation Golden Eagle here April 8, 2014. The four-day exercise was the first brigade-size air assault operation conducted by the 101st Abn. Div. in more than a decade and featured Soldiers from 3rd BCT and 101st CAB moving more than 1,100 Soldiers and sling-loading more than 20 pieces of equipment. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/13846390423/" target="_blank">Photo</a> by Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado, 3rd BCT Public Affairs)</em></p> </body></html> MoJo Mon, 14 Apr 2014 13:48:37 +0000 249706 at http://www.motherjones.com White House Turned Down Request From Victims of First Fort Hood Attack for Meeting With Obama http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/read-obamas-letter-dissing-victims-first-fort-hood-attack <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>During last week's memorial service for victims of April 2 Fort Hood shooting, President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-president-obamas-april-9-remarks-at-fort-hood-texas/2014/04/09/7a5690f0-c01c-11e3-b574-f8748871856a_story.html" target="_blank">spoke</a> about the lingering hurt from the previous attack on the base in 2009. "Part of what makes this so painful is that we've been here before," Obama said. "This tragedy tears at wounds still raw from five years ago. Once more soldiers who survived foreign war zones were struck down here at home, where they're supposed to be safe." Yet, when victims of the first Fort Hood shooting invited the president to see those wounds up close, he refused, without explaining why.</p> <p>The morning of the memorial, retired Staff Sgt. Alonzo Lunsford, who was shot seven times during the 2009 Fort Hood rampage, requested that Obama meet briefly with victims and their families while he was on base. Lunsford's letter, which was addressed to the president's chief of staff, Denis McDonough, also described survivors' disappointment with how they had been treated:</p> <blockquote> <p>As you may know, the President and high-ranking members of the military promised me, my family and the other Fort Hood terror attack survivors that the federal government would "make them whole." After more than four and one-half years, however, the government has yet to make good on this promise.</p> <p>We believe that if the President could hear, first-hand, our plight and our mistreatment at the hands of his bureaucracy, that he would take the steps needed to set things right. Therefore, we ask for ten minutes of his time.</p> </blockquote> <p>In the years since Major Nidal Hasan opened fire in a crowded Fort Hood medical center, killing 13 people and wounding another 32, victims have struggled to get medical care and financial benefits. This is largely because of how the incident has been labeled. Although Hasan is an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/08/nidal-hasan-anwar-awlaki-emails-fbi-fort-hood" target="_blank">avowed jihadist with ties to Al Qaeda,</a> the Pentagon considers the attack to be workplace violence rather than terrorism or combat. Thus victims aren't eligible for many benefits and honors available to soldiers wounded or killed in action. (For more on this topic, see <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/how-white-house-military-failed-fort-hood-victims" target="_blank">"The White House Broke Its Promise to the Victims of the First Fort Hood Shooting. Will History Repeat Itself?")</a></p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2014/04/read-obamas-letter-dissing-victims-first-fort-hood-attack"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Crime and Justice Guns Military Obama Top Stories Sun, 13 Apr 2014 13:27:53 +0000 Mariah Blake 249681 at http://www.motherjones.com New Ad Hammers Gov. Andrew Cuomo For Abandoning His Pledge to Fight Corruption http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/andrew-cuomo-fair-elections-new-york-attack-ad-moreland-commission <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FoZSbGmbsX8" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>When Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) signed his new $140 billion budget into law last week, he <a href="http://www.wbng.com/news/local/New-York-State-budget-passes-on-time-253314581.html">hailed</a> it as a "grand slam." For New York State's ethics reformers and good government groups, however, the budget was an epic flop. And now one national pro-reform group is planning to hammer Cuomo on the airwaves for failing to make good on his pledge to overhaul the state's cash-fueled, noxious brand of politics.</p> <p>The new ad&mdash;paid for by the Public Campaign Action Fund, a non-profit funded by individuals, labor unions, and foundations&mdash;blasts Cuomo for signing a budget that doesn't include a so-called fair elections system for all statewide races. (The budget instead features a pilot program&nbsp;that half-heartedly applies the fair elections model to only&nbsp;this year's state comptroller race.) The ad also hits Cuomo for eliminating a commission&mdash;created by the governor just last year&mdash;devoted to rooting out corruption in state government. Public Campaign Action Fund has bought nearly $300,000 worth of airtime to run the ad, starting Saturday, for nine days in the Syracuse and Buffalo media markets.</p> <p>The ad's narrator says:</p> <blockquote>When Governor Cuomo introduced his ethics and reform plan, it was going to clean up Albany. But he let the rule limiting campaign contributions get cut. Then the commission that was supposed to investigate corruption in state government got cut. And the promise to reduce the influence of big money in all state races? All cut, except for one office. And now the governor says he&rsquo;s proud of what&rsquo;s been achieved? Gov. Cuomo, get back to work and deliver the reform you promised.</blockquote> <p>Reform groups had pressed especially hard this year for Cuomo and the New York State legislature to overhaul how state elections are funded by implementing so-called fair elections, a campaign funding system that rewards candidates who accept lots of small donations by matching those donations with public money. This type of system is already used in New York City, where it <a href="http://www.newrepublic.com/article/114567/bill-de-blasio-new-york-city-mayor-public-financing-helps-him">helped</a> progressive Bill de Blasio become mayor.</p> </body></html> MoJo Dark Money Money in Politics Regulatory Affairs Fri, 11 Apr 2014 20:06:34 +0000 Andy Kroll 249671 at http://www.motherjones.com VIDEO: David Corn on Why Republican Strife Has Gotten Personal http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/video-david-corn-hardball-paul-cheney <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><em>Mother Jones</em> DC bureau chief David Corn spoke with <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/hardball" target="_blank">MSNBC's Chris Matthews</a> and Clarence Page this week about why the fight between Rand Paul and Dick Cheney is about more than just policy. Watch here:</p> <p><iframe border="no" height="497" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hardball_4paul_140410" width="630"></iframe></p> </body></html> MoJo Video Congress The Right Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:23:50 +0000 David Corn 249651 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 11, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-11-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0411-630.jpg"></div> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Expert Infantryman Badge candidates wait at the start of the 12-mile foot march before the sun rises, April 3, 2014, on Fort Stewart, Ga. All of the 94 candidates who started the foot march arrived on Cottrell Field in the time allotted, where they were awarded the EIB. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/13746223765/" target="_blank">U.S. Army Photo</a> by Sgt. Joshua Laidacker, 4th IBCT, 3rd ID, Public Affairs)</em></p> </body></html> MoJo Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:57:03 +0000 249621 at http://www.motherjones.com Religious Right Fears the GOP Can't Handle a National Convention in Las Vegas http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/gop-las-vegas-convention-religious <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="GOP Hangover poster" class="image" src="/files/HangoverPoster630.jpg"></div> <p>Religious conservatives are urging the GOP to scratch Sin City off its list of potential locations for the 2016 Republican National Convention,<em> </em>the <a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/headlines/20140409-religious-conservatives-warn-gop-against-holding-convention-in-vegas.ece" target="_blank"><em>Dallas Morning News</em></a> reports. According to the paper, advocates are concerned that Las Vegas' reputation as a gambling and prostitution haven will discourage conservatives from attending the event and that the city is a "trap waiting to ensnare" convention attendees.</p> <p>"The GOP is supposedly interested in reaching out to conservatives and evangelicals. Maybe that&rsquo;s just a front, but if they really mean it this is not the way to do it," James Dobson, founder of Family Talk, a Christian radio show that <a href="http://drjamesdobson.org/broadcasts/Stations" target="_blank">broadcasts</a> across the United States, told the paper. "Even though Vegas has tried to shore itself up and call itself family-friendly, it&rsquo;s still a metaphor for decadence. There's still 64 pages of escort services in the yellow pages."</p> <p>Dobson, along with leaders of the American Family Association, Eagle Forum, the Traditional Values Coalition, and Family-PAC sent a letter to Republican chairman Reince Priebus warning him to choose another destination.</p> <p>Las Vegas is considered a frontrunner for the 2016 convention. Other c<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2014/04/gop-rejects-phoenix-columbus-for-2016-convention/" target="_blank">ities under consideration</a> are Dallas, Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Kansas City, Missouri. The Nevada city has<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/us/politics/las-vegas-seeks-to-host-the-gop-in-2016.html?_r=0" target="_blank"> never hosted a national political convention</a> for either Democrats or Republicans, but it's been aggressively courting the GOP. The city's promotional <a href="http://lasvegas2016.com/" target="_blank">video for the convention</a> does not feature any gambling. Instead, it emphasizes Las Vegas' hotels, sunshine, rock climbing, proximity to the Hoover Dam, NASCAR, places of worship, and the "growing Asian population." The video pans to&nbsp;Disney's logo.</p> <p>Las Vegas has a strong lobbying campaign behind it. The team includes casino magnate&nbsp;Sheldon Adelson, who spent over $98 million on GOP candidates in 2012, resort businessman Stephen Wynn, and Washington political strategists, according to the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/24/us/politics/las-vegas-seeks-to-host-the-gop-in-2016.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a><em>. </em>Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told <em>The</em> <em>Dallas Morning News</em> that while she supports Adelson, she fears that with all of the escorts and prostitutes available in the Las Vegas area, she "can see all the setups that are going to take place."</p> <p>Erick Erickson, editor-in-chief of the conservative blog <em>RedState.com</em>, also <a href="http://www.redstate.com/2014/04/07/rnc-please-dont/" target="_blank">expressed concern</a> about the GOP choosing Las Vegas. "Good Christian delegates getting drunk, gambling, stuffing dollar bills in strippers' g-strings, etc. will be the toast of not just MSNBC, but the front page of the <em>New York Times</em>, ABC, CBS, NBC, the <em>Huffington Post</em>, and more." he wrote. Not to mention, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) might wake up with a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqxJ-MvrDRg" target="_blank">tiger in his bathroom.</a></p> </body></html> MoJo Elections The Right Top Stories Fri, 11 Apr 2014 10:00:12 +0000 Dana Liebelson 249586 at http://www.motherjones.com A Heckler Threw a Shoe At Hillary Clinton. She Dodged It. Here's the Video. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/hillary-clinton-shoe-throwing-las-vegas-video <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Thursday, Hillary Clinton gave a speech before a meeting of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. Just after taking the stage, an as-yet unnamed woman rose from the crowd and <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/object-thrown-hillary-clinton-speech-23280934" target="_blank">threw something at her</a>. Thankfully, Clinton was unharmed, ducking and joking, "Was that a bat?...Is that somebody throwing something at me? Is that part of Cirque de Soleil? My goodness, I didn't know that solid waste management was so controversial. Thank goodness she didn't play softball like I did."</p> <p>Here is a video, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/object-thrown-hillary-clinton-speech-23280934" target="_blank">courtesy of ABC: </a></p> <p><iframe height="360" src="http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=23282477" style="border:none;" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The would-be assailant was taken into custody and is said to have later revealed that the item in question was a shoe, naturally.</p> <p>Clinton and Bush: <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/12/14/bush-visits-iraq-for-fina_n_150832.html" target="_blank">Just more of the same.</a></p> <p>(Don't throw shoes at people.)</p> </body></html> MoJo Hillary Clinton Thu, 10 Apr 2014 23:30:57 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 249611 at http://www.motherjones.com Wiretapping Advocate Condoleezza Rice Joins Dropbox http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/wiretapping-advocate-condoleezza-rice-joins-dropbox <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The internet is <a href="http://boingboing.net/2014/04/09/condoleeza-rice-supporter-of.html" target="_blank">not pleased</a> that Condoleezza Rice will be <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/09/condoleezza-rice-joins-dropboxs-board/" target="_blank">joining the board</a> of the filesharing service Dropbox. A lot of the concern has to do with the fact that she'll be helping Dropbox navigate "<a href="http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140410/07181926866/adding-condoleeza-rice-to-dropboxs-board-seems-incredibly-tone-deaf-following-nsa-concerns.shtml" target="_blank">international expansion and privacy</a>" issues. As Ars Technica <a href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/04/dropbox-adds-new-mailbox-clients-photo-syncing-and-condoleezza-rice/" target="_blank">notes</a>, the former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State isn't exactly the kind of person you'd trust to defend your data from Uncle Sam: In 2003, she authorized NSA wiretaps of members of the United Nations Security Council at the behest of George W. Bush, and later defended them. Of course, to be fair, maybe having an insider like Rice onboard will allow Dropbox to <a href="http://scripting.com/2014/04/10/dropboxTonedeafHardly.html" target="_blank">push back</a> against would-be government intrusions. Still, the news is likely to give a boost to Dropbox competitors <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/macworld-surveillance-nsa-idrive" target="_blank">that now market their cloud services, convincingly or not, as "NSA-proof."</a></p></body></html> MoJo Thu, 10 Apr 2014 22:27:36 +0000 Josh Harkinson 249606 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Senate Candidate: "I Have Big Boy Pants on Every Day” http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/thom-tillis-leaked-audio-big-boy-pants <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <div align="center">&acirc;&#128;&#139;<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/-bdGosIxYzY?start=600" width="630"></iframe> </div> <p>At a closed-door meeting last year at the North Carolina General Assembly building, Thom Tillis, the state speaker of the house and frontrunner in the GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in November, clashed with Republican activists and legislators who claimed that Tillis was blocking conservative legislation to bolster his chances in the Senate race. In a contentious exchange that was caught on tape, Tillis and a fellow Republican tried to put their disagreements behind them before stumbling into an argument over whether Tillis was wearing "big boy pants":</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>Unidentified speaker:</strong> Sometimes in the heat of the moments things are said that maybe could be better stated had we had time to think about what we&rsquo;re gonna say. But sir, I think it&rsquo;s time now for us to put this behind us, put our big boy pants on and say okay we&mdash;</p> <p><strong>Tillis:</strong> I understand that, I understand that, but I have big boy pants on every day, with all due respect. That's why I'm sitting in this room trying to solve this problem. That was fine up to this point, I think that kind of comment&rsquo;s not really showing respect.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is funny, because who says "big boy pants"? (Besides Florida Dem <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78550.html" target="_blank">Debbie Wasserman-Schultz</a>, who used the term to diss Mitt Romney.) But the context is significant. At one point, according Chuck Suter, a North Carolina conservative activist who was in the meeting and posted the clip, Tillis slammed his chair into the table and began to walk out of the room before returning to finish a point. The chair-slam can be heard on the tape.</p> <p>Tillis, whose campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, held the meeting to clear the air after Republican state Rep. Larry Pittman, who was also in attendance, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpD6Oa9S6y0&amp;feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">criticized</a> Tillis in a speech. The question of whether Tillis is conservative enough hasn't gone away. Heavyweights including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Americans for Prosperity have endorsed one of Tillis' rivals, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/rand-paul-endorse-greg-brannon-secessionist-rally" target="_blank">Greg Brannon</a>, an OBGYN who runs a chain of crisis-pregnancy clinics. The most recent survey of the primary from Public Policy Polling showed Tillis well short of the 40-percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Top Stories Embarrassing and Ridiculous Things Said by 2014 Candidates Thu, 10 Apr 2014 19:12:45 +0000 Tim Murphy 249556 at http://www.motherjones.com