Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2010/11 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Nebraska Conservatives Take On GOP Governor Over Death Penalty http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/nebraska-republicans-take-gop-governor-over-death-penalty <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A group of conservative legislators in Nebraska are gearing up for what could be a multi-day battle to end the state's death penalty. The fight pits the right-wing anti-death penalty crusaders against their fellow conservatives and the state's Republican governor. Here's the <em>Omaha World-Herald</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nine conservative lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors of a repeal measure the Nebraska Legislature will begin debating Thursday. One of their key platforms: Repealing the death penalty makes good fiscal sense.</p> <p>"If capital punishment were any other program that was so inefficient and so costly to the taxpayer, we would have gotten rid of it a long time ago," said Sen. Colby Coash of Lincoln.</p> </blockquote> <p>The bill is unlikely to become law. There are currently enough votes for passage, but advocates warn that anything could happen when the bill comes up for a final vote. Death penalty advocates could mount a filibuster to block the legislature from even voting on the measure. If they don't,&nbsp;Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, has vowed to block the legislation, and it's unclear that there are enough votes to override his veto.</p> <p>Still, the upcoming debate and vote on the bill marks a victory for a small conservative group working on a state-by-state basis to end the death penalty and replace it with life in prison without the possibility of parole. This group, Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, argues that capital punishment violates <a href="http://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/23/unlikely-conservative-cause-abolish-death-penalty-251005.html" target="_blank">core conservative beliefs</a> about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/ron-paul-death-penalty-scott-panetti-texas" target="_blank">sanctity of life</a>, small government, and fiscal responsibility.</p> <p>The Nebraska chapter of the group held a press conference Wednesday in advance of today's floor debate on the bill. "I may be old-fashioned, but I believe God should be the only one who decides when it is time to call a person home," said state Sen. Tommy Garrett, a conservative who supports repeal. "The state has no business playing God."</p> <p>Nebraska has not carried out an execution since 1997, when the state was still using the electric chair, but that might change, according to the <a href="http://www.omaha.com/news/legislature/on-eve-of-repeal-debate-republican-lawmakers-push-for-ending/article_072f43e0-e390-11e4-afbc-c79c33ec8b49.html" target="_blank"><em>World-Herald</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said this week that his staff is working to restore the viability of a lethal injection protocol. He did not, however, predict when executions could resume.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Top Stories death penalty Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:06:41 +0000 Pema Levy 273766 at http://www.motherjones.com Billionaire Casino Magnate Sheldon Aldelson's Israeli Paper Is Obsessed With Marco Rubio http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/sheldon-adelsons-israeli-paper-obsessed-marco-rubio <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For years, Republicans who aspire to the presidency have sought the support of Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and GOP mega-donor. Adelson spent $150 million backing Republicans during the 2012 election cycle, and the candidate who secures his support this time around will get a big boost in a crowded GOP field. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who announced his campaign on Monday, already has one billionaire backer&mdash;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/marco-rubio-norman-braman-billionaire" target="_blank">Norman Braman, a Miami car dealer</a>. But <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/marco-rubio-norman-braman-billionaire" target="_blank">Rubio also seems to have impressed Adelson himself.</a></p> <p>Israel-watchers on Twitter have pointed out that <em>Israel Hayom</em>, the daily newspaper owned by Adelson, has been particularly interested in the junior senator from Florida.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Third morning in a row Marco Rubio has been on the cover of Israel HaYom. He seems to be winning the Adelson primary. <a href="http://t.co/KwxkrpPRaH">http://t.co/KwxkrpPRaH</a></p> &mdash; Gregg Carlstrom (@glcarlstrom) <a href="https://twitter.com/glcarlstrom/status/587854059048017920">April 14, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Full-page in Yisrael Hayom pitting Rubio vs Clinton. No mention of other GOP candidates. "Adelson primary" is over. <a href="http://t.co/xcjXQLThIL">pic.twitter.com/xcjXQLThIL</a></p> &mdash; Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) <a href="https://twitter.com/LahavHarkov/status/588235049746571264">April 15, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>The fourth day in a row that Rubio has been featured in Yisrael Hayom, Israel's Sheldon Adelson-owned paper. Hmmm. <a href="https://t.co/NT8OzijFPA">https://t.co/NT8OzijFPA</a></p> &mdash; Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) <a href="https://twitter.com/Yair_Rosenberg/status/588332264825561088">April 15, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>It's too early to call the Adelson primary for Rubio. As in the past, Adelson will want each of the major candidates to court him; the casino magnate is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/03/03/washingtons-first-official-2016-fundraiser-starring-lindsey-graham-and-sheldon-adelson/" target="_blank">known to be fond of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)</a> and <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/christie-accused-of-blocking-casino-deal-for-adelson-2015-2" target="_blank">Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.)</a>, both of whom are seriously considering runs. But Rubio&mdash;who <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/03/rubio-dines-with-republican-mega-donor-adelson/" target="_blank">dined one-on-one with Adelson last month</a>&mdash;is off to a good start.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections International Money in Politics The Right Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:02:14 +0000 Sam Brodey 273736 at http://www.motherjones.com Hillary Clinton to Supreme Court: Legalize Same-Sex Marriage Nationally http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-same-sex-marriage-supreme-court <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton's now-official <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/hillary-clinton-running-president-heres-what-you-need-know" target="_blank">presidential campaign</a> has so far opted for gauzy announcement videos and vague feel good promises over much in the way of policy specifics. But on Wednesday, Clinton's team clarified one stance she she will take: same-sex marriage is a constitutional right that should be legal in every state.</p> <p>"Hillary Clinton supports marriage equality and hopes the Supreme Court will come down on the side of same-sex couples being guaranteed that constitutional right," campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod <a href="http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/04/15/breaking-clinton-urges-supreme-court-to-rule-for-marriage-equality/" target="_blank">told <em>The Washington Blade</em></a>, referring to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/16/supreme-court-gay-marriage_n_6439926.html" target="_blank">four cases</a> on gay marriage the court is scheduled to hear later this month.</p> <p>Clinton hasn't always supported <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/03/18/how-hillary-clinton-evolved-on-gay-marriage/" target="_blank">same-sex marriage</a>. In the 2008 Democratic primary, Clinton, like then-Sen. Barack Obama, supported civil unions for LGBT couples but opposed marriage rights. She avoided weighing in on domestic politics while at the State Department and didn't announce that she supported marriage equality until March, 2013&mdash;but maintained that same-sex marriage was up to the states and not a nationwide, constitutional right. Last year, she ducked probing questions from NPR's Terry Gross about how she had evolved on the issue. Earlier this week, <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/chrisgeidner/hillary-clinton-hasnt-said-how-she-thinks-the-supreme-court#.aqv78onOe" target="_blank"><em>Buzzfeed</em> called</a> out the Clinton campaign for not saying where the presidential candidate stood on the upcoming court case.</p> <p>Now Clinton seems ready to strike a different tone. Her top campaign operative, Robby Mook, will be the first openly gay presidential campaign manger, as my colleague Andy Kroll and I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/robby-mook-hillary-clinton-campaign-manager-profile" target="_blank">reported last week</a>. Among the gauzy images in the video she <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-officially-launches-presidential-campaign" target="_blank">released on Sunday</a> announcing her presidential campaign were scenes of a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/meet-gay-couple-featured-hillary-clintons-presidential-announcement/story?id=30275674" target="_blank">gay couple</a> discussing their upcoming wedding. And, thanks to her statement today, she's fully on board with the idea that LGBT couples should enjoy the same constitutionally protected rights as heterosexual couples.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Gay Rights Hillary Clinton Supreme Court Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:13:05 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 273696 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz's Big Money Man Is A Hedge Funder With a $2 Million Train Set http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ted-cruz-super-pac-donor-robert-mercer <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Robert Mercer, a Long Island hedge fund magnate, has made <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">some lavish investments</a> over the years: There's his 203-foot super yacht, called the <em>Sea Owl.</em> There's the $2 million model train set he had custom-built in his mansion&mdash;and the lawsuit he filed against the builders, saying they'd overcharged him.</p> <p>And now there's the money he's putting behind Ted Cruz's presidential ambitions.</p> <p>Mercer is the main bankroller of a ring of four super-PACs supporting Cruz for president, the <em>New York Times</em> <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/politics/hedge-fund-magnaterobert-mercer-emerges-as-a-generous-backer-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=0" target="_blank">reported</a> Friday. The PACs have collected $31 million in the four weeks since Cruz launched his campaign, giving the freshman Senator's bid for the Republican nomination a powerful start.</p> <p>This is not Mercer's first foray into campaign finance. As <em>Mother Jones </em>previously <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">reported</a>, Mercer is a longtime Republican donor who shares Cruz's disdain for financial regulation. He has plowed millions into campaigns against lawmakers who have pushed to rein in Wall Street. Rep. Pete DeFazio (D&ndash;Ore.), who started an effort to tax high-frequency financial transactions, was the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">target of a Mercer</a> campaign of more than half-a-million dollars. So was former Rep. Timothy Bishop (D&ndash;N.Y.), an ex-SEC prosecutor. In 2012, Mercer shoveled <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">more than $900,000</a> into an effort to unseat Bishop. While Bishop held onto his seat, Mercer <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/hedge-fund-taxes-superpacs-election-renaissance" target="_blank">targeted him again</a> in 2014&mdash;this time, with success. Also in 2012, Mercer pumped millions into two super PACs, headed by Karl Rove, that flooded the airwaves with ads for Mitt Romney and Republican candidates for Congress. Club For Growth, a free-market focused super PAC, has notched <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/robert-mercer-timothy-bishop-hamptons" target="_blank">more than a half million</a> from Mercer, too.</p> <p>Given Mercer's views, it's no wonder that he would back the GOP presidential candidate who has mused about <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/03/ted-cruz-abolish-the-irs/" target="_blank">abolishing the IRS</a>. But Mercer has felt the sting of financial oversight professionally, too. As Mariah Blake <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/hedge-fund-taxes-superpacs-election-renaissance" target="_blank">reported for <em>Mother Jones</em></a> in 2014, for several years, federal agents had been scrutinizing Renaissance, the hedge fund Mercer runs along with a business partner, Peter Brown.</p> <p>Last year, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations got in on the action. In a hearing with Renaissance executives, its members accused the fund of using complicated financial maneuvers to avoid an estimated $6 billion in taxes. As Blake reported:</p> <blockquote> <p>Renaissance is notoriously secretive about its investment formula. But <a href="http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/subcommittees/investigations/hearings/abuse-of-structured-financial-products_misusing-basket-options-to-avoid-taxes-and-leverage-limits" target="_blank">documents</a> released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in July offer some clues about the engine behind its growth. In 1999, Deutsche Bank&mdash;which did not respond to requests for comment&mdash;approached Renaissance and offered to package all of the Medallion fund's investments into a portfolio, or "basket," that was held in the bank's name. Under this arrangement, Renaissance would still control the trades and reap all the profits (minus the bank's generous fees). But it didn't have to pay short-term capital gains taxes on the underlying assets, even if they were only held for a few hours or days. (Short-term gains are taxed at 39 percent for the highest earners; long-term gains are taxed at roughly half that rate.)</p> <p>"Renaissance profited from this tax treatment by insisting on the fiction that it didn't really own the stocks it traded&mdash;that the banks that Renaissance dealt with, did," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, said during the recent hearing. "But, the fact is that Renaissance did all the trading, maintained full control over the account&hellip;and reaped all of the profits."</p> </blockquote> <p>The company has denied any wrongdoing and the IRS investigation is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/us/politics/hedge-fund-magnaterobert-mercer-emerges-as-a-generous-backer-of-ted-cruz.html?_r=1" target="_blank">ongoing</a>.</p> <p>Despite his outsized giving, Mercer is described by those who know him as quiet and intensely private. But as Bradley Smith, a campaign finance expert, pointed out to the <em>Times</em>, his money will do plenty of talking for him: The cash "sends the message to other donors that Cruz is a serious guy&hellip;And that brings in other donors."</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Money in Politics Ted Cruz The Right Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:49:02 +0000 Molly Redden 273551 at http://www.motherjones.com Even Ray Kelly Is Now Convinced Cops Need to Wear Body-Cams http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/ray-kelly-body-cams <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly&mdash;who once <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ray-kelly-people-will-suffer-after-stop-and-frisk-appeal-dropped-discusses-police-body-cameras-1412106415" target="_blank">warned </a>against police officers being equipped with body-cameras&mdash;is now coming out in support of the recording technology. Kelly's reversal, he noted on ABC's <em>This Week </em>on Sunday, was prompted by the video in South Carolina that caught police officer Michael Slager fatally <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager" target="_blank">shooting Walter Scott</a>.</p> <p>"It has changed my mind," Kelly <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/video/routine-police-stops-turn-violent-30262611" target="_blank">told</a> host George Stephanopoulos. "Because we have to assume that this officer would not act the way he did if in fact he had a body camera that was recording."</p> <p>Prior to the video's emergence last week, local reports of the shooting appeared to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager" target="_blank">largely rely on the officer's </a>account alone: Slager told authorities he had "felt threatened" by Scott and defended his actions as nothing more than a traffic stop gone wrong. The video's eventual publication, which clearly showed Slager shooting Scott in the back eight times as he attempted to flee, quickly lead to his arrest and murder charge.</p> <p>"I think it is a game changer," Kelly said of the video. "What you will see is a movement now by many more police departments to go to cameras. There are issues with it, there are problems with it, but this trumps all of those problems."</p> <p>As head of the NYPD, Kelly was a fierce <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/20/ray-kelly-says-stop-frisk-saves-lives-theres-no-good-evidence-for-that/" target="_blank">defender</a> of the department's controversial use of stop-and-frisk tactics and credited the program as a major factor in the city's declining crime rate. He also argued outfitting all officers with body-cameras would only thwart their abilities to perform their jobs properly. "I think we have to tread carefully in this area," he <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/ray-kelly-people-will-suffer-after-stop-and-frisk-appeal-dropped-discusses-police-body-cameras-1412106415" target="_blank">said</a> in September. "I think cameras will make police officers hesitate and that can be a good thing or a bad thing."</p> <p><iframe height="360" scrolling="no" src="http://abcnews.go.com/video/embed?id=30262611" style="border:none;" width="640"></iframe><br><a href="http://abcnews.go.com/us">ABC Breaking US News</a> | <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/us/video">US News Videos</a></p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Mon, 13 Apr 2015 19:31:17 +0000 Inae Oh 273576 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's Hillary Clinton's Video Launching Her Campaign http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-officially-launches-presidential-campaign <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially kicked off her run for president with an email her campaign reportedly sent to her supporters on Sunday. The launch marks her second run for the White House after she was defeated by then Senator Barack Obama in 2008.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>BREAKING: Hillary Rodham Clinton enters White House race; Democrat seeks to be first female president.</p> &mdash; The Associated Press (@AP) <a href="https://twitter.com/AP/status/587327449861660673">April 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Podesta sends email to Hillary 2008 alumni announcing she is in -- first official announcement from the campaign. <a href="http://t.co/AsOEw6Z33T">pic.twitter.com/AsOEw6Z33T</a></p> &mdash; Jesse Berney (@jesseberney) <a href="https://twitter.com/jesseberney/status/587323477637619712">April 12, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Sunday's long-awaited announcement&nbsp;follows years of speculation over when and how Clinton would formally launch her presidential campaign. In recent weeks, much of her team's energy has been focused on building a formidable army of advisers and key players. Earlier this month, Clinton signed a lease for her <a href="http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Hillary-Clinton-Presidential-Campaign-Headquarters-Lease-Brooklyn-NYC-298594701.html" target="_blank">campaign headquarters</a> in Brooklyn. <strong>Watch her video announcement below:</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0uY7gLZDmn4" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Sun, 12 Apr 2015 19:03:44 +0000 Inae Oh 273471 at http://www.motherjones.com The Guy Who Filmed Eric Garner's Death Is Still Fighting To Get Out of Jail http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/eric-garner-video-ramsey-orta-rikers <!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-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ramsey_3.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>The Rev. Al Sharpton introduces Ramsey Orta at Eric Garner's funeral in July 2014. </strong>Julia Xanthos/AP</div> </div> <p><em><strong>Update:</strong> Ramsey Orta was released from Rikers Island on Friday night and is now with his family, according to his lawyers. Earlier on Friday, the Staten Island district attorney's office canceled Orta's "bond source" hearing after reviewing paperwork submitted by the bail bondsman regarding the crowd-funded bail money. "We were satisfied that it met the requirements of the statute," said Daniel Master, the chief assistant district attorney. </em></p> <p>It's been a rough eight months for the man who shot the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/grand-jury-doesnt-indict-staten-island-cop-death-eric-garner" target="_blank">video of Eric Garner's death</a>. Since Garner was killed by a police officer's chokehold on a Staten Island sidewalk last July, Ramsey Orta, the 23-year-old who filmed the scene, has been arrested twice and has spent the past two months in Rikers Island. According to his attorneys, Orta believes he has been targeted by New York police in retaliation for having shot the video, which became a flash point for the growing civil-rights movement against police brutality.</p> <p>Orta also fears that jail officials will try to poison him. "He's not eating the food that Rikers provides him," one of his attorneys, William Aronin, says<em>.</em> "Instead, he's surviving right now off of candy bars, chips, things he can get on the vending machine or the commissary. He's hungry, he is not happy, and he is scared."</p> <div><div id="mininav" class="inline-subnav"> <!-- header content --> <div id="mininav-header-content"> <div id="mininav-header-image"> <img src="/files/images/motherjones_mininav/millionsmarchcrop.jpg" width="220" border="0"></div> <div id="mininav-header-text"> <p class="mininav-header-text" style="margin: 0; padding: 0.75em; font-size: 11px; font-weight: bold; line-height: 1.2em; background-color: rgb(221, 221, 221);"> More MoJo coverage on police shootings: </p> </div> </div> <!-- linked stories --> <div id="mininav-linked-stories"> <ul><span id="linked-story-258221"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men"> Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-268206"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/01/police-misconduct-payments-eric-garner-nypd"> The Cop Who Choked Eric Garner to Death Won't Have to Pay a Dime in Damages</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-272236"> <li><a href="/politics/2015/03/philadelphia-police-officer-involved-shootings"> Philadelphia Cops Shoot and Kill People at 6 Times the Rate of the NYPD</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-258621"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/darren-wilson-ferguson-police-officers-shoot-unarmed-black-men"> Here's What Happens to Police Officers Who Shoot Unarmed Black Men</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-266611"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/12/death-custody-reporting-act-police-shootings-ferguson-garner"> Congress Is Finally Going to Make Local Law Enforcement Report How Many People They Kill</a></li> </span> <span id="linked-story-259121"> <li><a href="/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-ferguson-race-data"> Here&acirc;&#128;&#153;s the Data That Shows Cops Kill Black People at a Higher Rate Than White People</a></li> </span> </ul></div> <!-- footer content --> </div> </div> <p>Last month, 19 other inmates at the jail <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/rikers-inmates-sickened-poisoned-meatloaf-article-1.2142869" target="_blank">filed a lawsuit</a> alleging that they had fallen ill after being served meatloaf with blue-green pellets in it. They say the pellets were rat poison, a claim which New York City Department of Correction officials have dismissed. Orta has not eaten any food served at the jail since the incident, his attorneys say. Department of Correction officials were not immediately available to respond to requests for comment.</p> <p>About two weeks after Garner's death, Orta was arrested for allegedly passing a gun to a 17-year-old girl. He was sent to Rikers Island and was subsequently released. He was later arrested for allegedly selling drugs. His attorneys say it is likely Orta's cases will go to trial. "We have to get him out of jail as soon as possible so that one, he's safe, and two, he can prepare for his defense," Aronin says.</p> <p>On Thursday morning, Orta posted $16,250 bail with donations that he'd received on a <a href="http://www.gofundme.com/of948k" target="_blank">crowdfunding</a> website. His family has been trying to raise $100,000 for bail and legal fees, and over the past month more than 1,800 people have contributed more than $47,000.</p> <p>"He should have been out today," says Ken Perry, another of Orta's lawyers. But the Staten Island district attorney's office isn't letting Orta leave just yet. The assistant district attorney prosecuting the case against Orta&nbsp;has requested a bail source hearing to "determine the funds being used did not come from an illegal or illicit source," explains a spokesman from the DA's office said. The bail source hearing is scheduled for this afternoon.</p> <p>Orta's attorneys say they have provided the district attorney's office with an approximately 115-page packet with names and details about everyone who has donated to their client's campaign. The packet also includes copies of the transfers from the crowdfunding website to Orta's aunt, and from her to the bail bondsman. "Why are they keeping him in when it's so patently obvious where this money came from?" Aronin asks.</p> <p>Family members were upset by the news of the delay. "My heart is extremely heavy, these past two months have been pure hell for Ramsey," his aunt, Lisa Mercado, wrote on his crowdthefunding page, which received a flood of donations this morning. "You are not alone, Ramsey," one donor commented. "You did something brave for all Americans."</p> <p>In December, a Staten Island grand jury <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/12/grand-jury-doesnt-indict-staten-island-cop-death-eric-garner" target="_blank">declined to indict</a> NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo for his role in Garner's death. In Orta's video,&nbsp;Pantaleo can be seen wrestling Garner to the ground and wrapping an arm around his neck.</p> <p>Orta has reportedly been <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/court-date-delayed-chokehold-cameraman-article-1.1891220" target="_blank">arrested 27 times since 2009</a> for alleged offenses including drug possession, robbery, and fare evasion. His attorneys say the majority of the arrests have not led to charges, and that they believe Orta's claims of being unfairly targeted are viable. "There's something more going on than would normally be the case were this not Ramsey Orta," Perry says. "There are things here that are not right."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Prisons Fri, 10 Apr 2015 18:55:46 +0000 Samantha Michaels 273391 at http://www.motherjones.com Hillary Clinton May Ruin Pundits' Weekend, Announce Campaign Sunday http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/hillary-clinton-announce-presidential-campaign-launch-sunday <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hillary Clinton is set to announce her run for president this Sunday, <em>The Guardian, </em><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/10/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-announcement-sunday/" target="_blank">CNN</a>, and other outlets are reporting. She reportedly plans to <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/apr/10/exclusive-hillary-clinton-to-launch-presidential-campaign-sunday-en-route-to-iowa-source" target="_blank">release a video</a> with the news on Twitter and follow up with campaigns stops in Iowa.</p> <p>If she secures the Democratic nomination, Clinton will become the first woman from either major party on the presidential ballot. For a deeper dive into the key players inside her campaign, read our inside look at the man tasked to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/robby-mook-hillary-clinton-campaign-manager-profile" target="_blank">guide her to the White House. </a></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Fri, 10 Apr 2015 12:53:05 +0000 Inae Oh 273436 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren: "I Don't Support the Death Penalty" for Boston Marathon Bomber http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/elizabeth-warren-boston-marathon-bomber-should-be-spared-death-penalty <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she is opposed to sentencing Dzohkhar Tsarnaev to death, one day after the Boston Marathon bomber was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/breaking-jury-has-reached-verdict-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-boston-bombing-trial" target="_blank">found guilty on all 30 charges</a> related to his involvement in the deadly 2013 attack.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/elizabeth-warren-tsarnaev-should-die-in-prison/" target="_blank">Speaking on <em>CBS This Morning</em></a>, Warren said, "Nothing is ever going to make those who were injured whole&hellip;My heart goes out to the families here, but I don't support the death penalty." "I think he should spend his life in jail, no possibility of parole," she said. "He should die in prison."</p> <p>"The alternative to the death penalty&mdash;it's not as if you set this guy free. He's put away&hellip;he's not someone who is able to keep sucking up a lot of energy. The families need their chance to move on."</p> <p>Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R), on the other hand, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2015/04/08/25480941/" target="_blank">supports putting Tsarnaev to death.</a></p> <p>Watch the full video <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/elizabeth-warren-tsarnaev-should-die-in-prison/" target="_blank">here</a>:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvHFOKpt78M" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Congress Crime and Justice Thu, 09 Apr 2015 17:47:22 +0000 Sam Brodey 273376 at http://www.motherjones.com The Walter Scott Shooting Video Shows Exactly Why We Can't Just Take the Police's Word For It http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walter-scott-michael-slager <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A white police officer in South Carolina was arrested and charged with murder on Tuesday, after a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/michael-slager-walter-scott-murder-charge" target="_blank">shocking video emerged</a> showing him fatally shooting an unarmed black man attempting to flee from the scene. The video, which was first published in the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/us/south-carolina-officer-is-charged-with-murder-in-black-mans-death.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>, captures the lethal confrontation between Officer Michael Slager and Walter Scott that quickly ensued during a traffic stop, which included Slager firing eight shots at Scott.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="354" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000003615939&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Slager originally told police that Scott had stolen his Taser and attempted to use it against him. This narrative was largely accepted by police authorities, at least according to what they initially told local media. The first report of the fatal encounter reported by the <em>Post and Courier</em> on Saturday ran with the headline, <a href="http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150404/PC16/150409635" target="_blank"><em>"Man shot and killed by North Charleston police officer after traffic stop; SLED investigating"</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>An officer&rsquo;s gunfire disrupted a hazy Saturday morning and left a man dead on a North Charleston street.</p> <p><strong>Police in a matter of hours declared the occurrence at the corner of Remount and Craig roads a traffic stop gone wrong</strong>, <strong>alleging the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed.</strong></p> <p>The officer&rsquo;s account, witness statements and other evidence gathered from the scene are now the subject of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation to determine whether the shooting, the state&rsquo;s 11th this year involving a lawmen, was justified.</p> <p>A statement released by North Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor said a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.</p> <p>That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer.</p> </blockquote> <p>The description reads eerily similar to police deaths that occur all around the country. If it had not been for the video's eventual publication, it's easy to imagine this being the press' final narrative of how Scott died. Oftentimes, newspapers struggle to report anything more than what law enforcement agencies tell them.</p> <p>In the case of the <em>Post and Courier's</em> first story, the paper's note that "in a matter of hours" police were quick to label the incident nothing more than a "traffic stop gone wrong" is revealing, as the video that has since surfaced clearly shows a very different account: Slager shoots Scott in the back multiple times; an object that appears to be Slager's Taser is placed next to Scott's body as he lays handcuffed on the ground.</p> <p>It's unclear when authorities became aware that a video of the incident existed, but on Monday, Slager appeared increasingly defensive. Speaking through an attorney, he doubled down on his actions to <a href="http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150406/PC16/150409558/1268/north-charleston-police-say-officer-who-fatally-shot-man-pulled-him-over-because-of-brake-light&amp;source=RSS" target="_blank">the same paper</a>, saying he had "felt threatened" by Scott and needed to "resort to deadly force":</p> <blockquote> <p>A North Charleston police officer felt threatened last weekend when the driver he had stopped for a broken brake light tried to overpower him and take his Taser.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why Patrolman 1st Class Michael Thomas Slager, a former Coast Guardsman, fatally shot the man, the officer&rsquo;s attorney said Monday.</p> <p><strong>Slager thinks he properly followed all procedures and policies before resorting to deadly force</strong>, lawyer David Aylor said in a statement.</p> </blockquote> <blockquote> <p>Monday&rsquo;s developments filled in <strong>some of the blanks</strong> in what was South Carolina&rsquo;s 11th police shooting of the year.</p> </blockquote> <p>By Tuesday, the <em>Times</em> and the <em>Post and Courier</em> had obtained a bystander's footage of the incident and the stories published that day are a direct about-face of the initial account, with both papers leading with news of the officer's arrest and murder charge. The <em>Post and Courier's</em> lead below:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge after a video surfaced Tuesday of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as the man ran away.</strong></p> <p>Walter L. Scott, a Coast Guard veteran and father of four, died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, <strong>shot him in the back.</strong></p> <p>Five of the eight bullets hit Scott, his family&rsquo;s attorney said. Four of those struck his back. One hit an ear.</p> </blockquote> <p>In just a few days, the account's drastic evolution in a single newspaper highlights yet again the problems surrounding <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">police reporting</a>&mdash;issues that have received national attention following recent events in Ferguson and New York City. Scott's tragic death underscores the power video can bring to police accountability. As Scott's family said during an appearance on the <a href="http://www.today.com/news/walter-scotts-dad-sons-shooting-would-have-been-swept-under-2D80592931" target="_blank"><em>Today show</em> Wednesday</a>, this video helped an officer avoid a successful cover-up. "It would have never come to light,"&nbsp;Walter Scott Sr, Scott's father, said. "They would have swept it under the rug, like they did with many others."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 08 Apr 2015 19:10:49 +0000 Inae Oh 273291 at http://www.motherjones.com BREAKING: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Has Been Found Guilty On All 30 Counts in the Boston Bombing Trial http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/breaking-jury-has-reached-verdict-dzhokhar-tsarnaev-boston-bombing-trial <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A Massachusetts jury has found&nbsp;Dzhokhar Tsarnaev <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_BOSTON_MARATHON_BOMBING?SITE=AP&amp;SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT" target="_blank">guilty on all counts</a> in the Boston Marathon Bombing trial, making him eligible to face the death penalty.</p> <p>Tsarnaev faced 30 counts, 17 of which carried a possible death sentence.</p> <p>Next up comes sentencing which could begin as early as Monday.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"> <p><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tsarnaev?src=hash">#Tsarnaev</a> arms folded as jury finds him guilty of all counts so far. 7 charges of 30 addressed so far. Eyes to the desk, no visible reaction</p> &mdash; Nicky Woolf (@NickyWoolf) <a href="https://twitter.com/NickyWoolf/status/585868666450878464">April 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><em>This post will be updated as more information becomes available.</em></p> <p>Watch:</p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="385" scrolling="no" src="http://static.livestream.com/embed/necn_live?layout=4&amp;color=0xe7e7e7&amp;autoPlay=false&amp;mute=false&amp;iconColorOver=0x888888&amp;iconColor=0x777777&amp;allowchat=true&amp;height=385&amp;width=630" style="border:0;outline:0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Wed, 08 Apr 2015 18:03:50 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 273321 at http://www.motherjones.com Nearly 1 in 10 Americans Have Serious Anger Problems—and Can Easily Get Guns http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/anger-problems-guns-study <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the United States, most people diagnosed with mental illness are allowed to buy guns. While <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/09/20/state-rules-vary-on-guns-for-the-mentally-ill/" target="_blank">state laws vary</a>, <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/possession-of-a-firearm-by-the-mentally-ill.aspx" target="_blank">federal law</a> prohibits only those who have been committed to a psychiatric hospital or adjudicated as "mental defectives" from owning firearms.</p> <p>But researchers at Duke University suspect that the law is ignoring a group of Americans who could make for potentially dangerous gun owners: people with a history of angry, impulsive outbursts. In a <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/emb_releases/2015-04/dumc-n1i040615.php">study</a> published this month in the peer-reviewed journal <em>Behavioral Sciences and the Law</em>, the Duke team looked at more than 5,500 interviews <a href="http://www.hcp.med.harvard.edu/ncs/">conducted</a> in a landmark survey of mental illness by Harvard researchers. From the interviews, they extrapolated that 1 in 10 adults in the United States has an anger management problem&mdash;and access to firearms.</p> <p>One caveat: While it makes intuitive sense that angry people and guns would be a volatile combination, it's important to note that there is no data yet on whether people with anger problems are more likely to commit violent crimes. Still, lead author <a href="http://psychiatry.duke.edu/faculty/details/0112411">Jeffrey Swanson</a> believes that the finding is worrisome. "Probably the strongest predictor of violence is previous violent behavior," says Swanson, a professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke Medicine.</p> <p>Swanson points to the recent shootings of three students near&nbsp;the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, had a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/13/us/chapel-hill-neighbors-say-they-felt-threatened-by-man-held-in-killings.html">history</a> of threatening behavior. "People who knew him said that he was very angry; they were scared of him," says Swanson.</p> <p>And yet, in most states, even people who have committed violent misdemeanors or have had restraining orders issued against them for domestic violence are allowed to own guns.</p> <p>Meanwhile, people with the types of severe psychiatric problems that lead to involuntary commitment, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, commit just <a href="http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.2006.163.8.1397">4 percent</a> of violent crimes in the United States. Most people with those acute conditions are not prone to violence.</p> <p>However, Swanson doesn't believe that isolated incidents of anger should prevent people from buying guns&mdash;everyone gets angry once in a while. But "the group that we focus on goes far beyond regular anger," he says. "These individuals are off on the extreme." They often get into physical fights and break or smash things when they become upset.</p> <p>Some states have tried to address the problem with laws that allow police to temporarily seize weapons from people whom a court deems immediately dangerous based on testimony from those who know the individual and his or her behavior. Currently, just three states&mdash;<a href="http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1014" target="_blank">California</a>, <a href="http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0280.htm" target="_blank">Connecticut</a>, and <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25827648" target="_blank">Indiana</a>&mdash;have versions of these laws.</p> <p>In most places, a history of violence isn't enough to make authorities think twice about whether an individual should be allowed to own a gun. "The way the law is set up now, it's missing a lot," says Swanson. "The most volatile people are slipping through the cracks."</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Guns Health Top Stories Wed, 08 Apr 2015 08:00:06 +0000 Kiera Butler 273266 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul's Announcement Video Pulled Over Copyright Issues http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/rand-pauls-announcement-video-pulled-over-copyright-issues <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>This morning Rand Paul announced that he was running for president. There was a crowded auditorium and they were going wild and then he strode on up to the podium and music was blaring and it was all going great and he gave a speech and the crowd ate it up and they cheered his name and then he finished and they clapped and cheered and the campaign uploaded the video of the speech to YouTube so that the world could clap and cheer and...<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/07/youtubes-copyright-system-has-taken-rand-pauls-presidential-announcement-offline/" target="_blank">YouTube bots automatically pulled the video</a> for unlicensed use of copyrighted material.</p> <p>Womp womp.</p> <p>Warner Music Group, the official owner of John Rich's "Shutting Detroit Down," a song about <a href="http://www.metrolyrics.com/shuttin-detroit-down-lyrics-john-rich.html" target="_blank">how much it sucks that rich corporations own things</a>, has now shut Rand down.</p> <p>Both <a href="http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/6524377/rand-paul-presidential-announcement-video-pulled-youtube-content-id?utm_source=Sailthru&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=biz_breakingnews&amp;utm_campaign=Breaking%20News" target="_blank"><em>Billboard </em></a>and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/04/07/youtubes-copyright-system-has-taken-rand-pauls-presidential-announcement-offline/" target="_blank"><em>The Washington Post </em></a>have reached out to get to the bottom of this and neither Warner or YouTube have commented on the situation.</p> <p>The campaign's video has now been deleted from YouTube (<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGfzoPQACPY" target="_blank">C-PSAN's remains</a>) but you can still enjoy the song in its entirety if you play it through John Rich's YouTube page, where you can also admire WMG's copyright claim in plain view:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lMx__6Zc3S0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The lesson, kids, is: if you ever run for president be sure to get permission to use copyrighted material before using it in your announcement speech. Otherwise the dream could end before it ever really begins.</p></body></html> MoJo Rand Paul Tue, 07 Apr 2015 23:45:52 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 273276 at http://www.motherjones.com Let These Adorable Children Show You Just How Insane the NRA's Fear-Mongering Is http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/everytown-wayne-lapierre-nra <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president and perhaps the gun lobby's most visible figure, has a penchant for invoking fear and paranoia in order to convince people that gun ownership is key to physical safety&mdash;despite an increasing <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/gun-research-harvard-nra" target="_blank">number of studies</a> that prove the very opposite.</p> <p>Ahead of the NRA's annual convention this weekend, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/nra-everytown-indianapolis-shannon-watts" target="_blank">Everytown</a>, the gun-safety coalition backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has <a href="http://everytown.org/stop-crazytown/" target="_blank">released a video</a> to demonstrate just how ridiculous LaPierre's signature fear-mongering tends to get. The video, which features kids adorably rattling off a handful of the NRA executive's quotes, is part of the group's larger effort to expose the lobby's tactics coined "Stop Crazytown."</p> <p><strong>Watch below:</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jBFfknnGrOs" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>For more of </em>Mother Jones'<em> reporting on guns in America, see all of our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/topics/guns" target="_blank">latest coverage here</a>, and our award-winning <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2013/12/newtown-shooting-one-year-later" target="_blank">special</a> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings" target="_blank">reports</a>.</em></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Video Guns Media Tue, 07 Apr 2015 19:25:57 +0000 Inae Oh 273226 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Just Announced That He's Running for President. Here's His Speech. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/retweet-if-you-love-liberty-fave-if-youre-afraid-of-commitment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Rand Paul just announced that he is running for president. He said some weird things, and some stupid things, and some okay things, and some smart things, and a lot of meaningless things.</p> <p>Politics!</p> <iframe width="630" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iGfzoPQACPY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> <p>Here's the transcript, <a href="http://time.com/3773964/rand-paul-presidential-campaign-launch-speech-transcript/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20time%2Ftopstories%20%28TIME%3A%20Top%20Stories%29" target="_blank">courtesy of <em>TIME</em></a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>I have a message, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words. We have come to take our country back.</p> <p>We have come to take our country back from the special interests that use Washington as their personal piggy bank, the special interests that are more concerned with their personal welfare than the general welfare.</p> <p>The Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives must be stopped.</p> <p>Less than five years ago I stood just down the road in home town in Bowling Green and said those same words. I wasn't supposed to win, no one thought I would.</p> <p>Some people asked me, then why are you running? The answer is the same now as it was then. I have a vision for America. I want to be part of a return to prosperity, a true economic boom that lists all Americans, a return to a government restrained by the Constitution.</p> <p>A return to privacy, opportunity, liberty. Too often when Republicans have won we have squandered our victory by becoming part of the Washington machine. That's not who I am.</p> <p>That's not why I ran for office the first time just a few years ago. The truth is, I love my life as a small-town doctor. Every day I woke up, I felt lucky to be able to do the things I loved. More importantly, I was blessed to be able to do things that made a difference in people's lives.</p> <p>I never could have done any of this, though, without the help of my parents who are here today. I'd like you to join me and thank my mother and dad.</p> <p>With my parents' help, I was able to make it through long years of medical training to become an eye surgeon. For me there is nothing that compares with helping someone see better. Last August I was privileged to travel to Guatemala on a medical mission trip together with a team of surgeons from across the U.S.</p> <p>We operated on more than 200 people who were blind or nearly blind from cataracts. I was grateful to be able to put my scrubs back on, peer into the oculars of the microscope, and focus on the task at hand, to take a surgical approach to fix a problem.</p> <p>One day in Guatemala, a man arrived and told me that I'd operated on his wife the day before. His wife could see clearly for the first time in years, and she had begged him to get on the bus, travel the winding roads and come back to our surgery center. He too was nearly blind from hardened cataracts.</p> <p>After his surgery, the next day, his wife sat next to me. As I unveiled the patch from his eyes, it was a powerful emotional moment for me to see them looking at each other clearly for the first time years to see the face they loved again.</p> <p>As I saw the joy in their eyes, I thought, "This is why I became a doctor."</p> <p>In that moment, I also remembered my grandmother, who inspired me to become an eye surgeon. She spent hours with me as a kid. We would sort through her old coin collection, looking for wheat pennies and Indian heads. But as her vision began to fail, I became her eyes to inspect the faintness of the mint marks on the old weather-worn coins.</p> <p>I went with my grandmother to the ophthalmologist as she had her corneas replaced. I was also with her when she received the sad news that macular generation had done irreparable harm to her eyes.</p> <p>My hope&hellip; my hope that my grandmother would see again made me want to become an eye surgeon, to make a difference in people's lives.</p> <p>I've been fortunate. I've been able to enjoy the American Dream.</p> <p>I worry, though, that the opportunity and hope are slipping away for our sons and daughters. As I watch our once-great economy collapse under mounting spending and debt, I think, "What kind of America will our grandchildren see"?</p> <p>It seems to me that both parties and the entire political system are to blame.</p> <p>Big government and debt doubled under a Republican administration.</p> <p>And it's now tripling under Barack Obama's watch. President Obama is on course to add more debt than all of the previous presidents combined.</p> <p>We borrow a million dollars a minute. This vast accumulation of debt threatens not just our economy, but our security.</p> <p>We can wake up now and do the right thing. Quit spending money we don't have.</p> <p>This message of liberty is for all Americans, Americans from all walks of life. The message of liberty, opportunity and justice is for all Americans, whether you wear a suit, a uniform or overalls, whether you're white or black, rich or poor.</p> <p>In order to restore America, one thing is for certain, though: We cannot, we must not dilute our message or give up on our principles.</p> <p>If we nominate a candidate who is simply Democrat Light, what's the point?</p> <p>Why bother?</p> <p>We need to boldly proclaim our vision for America. We need to go boldly forth under the banner of liberty that clutches the Constitution in one hand and the Bill of Rights in the other.</p> <p>Washington is horribly broken. I fear it can't be fixed from within. We the people must rise up and demand action.</p> <p>Congress will never balance the budget unless you force them to do so. Congress has an abysmal record with balancing anything. Our only recourse is to force Congress to balance the budget with a constitutional amendment.</p> <p>I have been to Washington, and let me tell you, there is no monopoly on knowledge there.</p> <p>I ran for office because we have too many career politicians. I believe it now more than ever.</p> <p>We limit the President to two terms. It's about time we limit the terms of Congress!</p> <p>I want to reform Washington. I want common sense rules that will break the log-jam in Congress.</p> <p>That's why I introduced a Read the Bills Act.</p> <p>The bills are thousands of pages long. And no one reads them. They are often plopped on our desks only a few hours before a vote.</p> <p>I've proposed something truly extraordinary &mdash; Let's read the bills, every page!</p> <p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;<br> Many Americans, though, are being left behind. The reward of work seems beyond their grasp. Under the watch of both parties &ndash; the poor seem to get poorer and the rich get richer.</p> <p>Trillion dollar government stimulus packages have only widened the income gap.</p> <p>Politically connected cronies get taxpayer dollars by the hundreds of millions, and poor families across America continue to suffer.</p> <p>I have a different vision, an ambitious vision, a vision that will offer opportunity to all Americans, especially those who have been left behind.</p> <p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;<br> Liberal policies have failed our inner cities. Let's just get the facts straight. They have failed our inner cities. Our schools are not equal and the poverty gap continues to widen.</p> <p>Martin Luther King spoke of two Americas. He described them as "two starkly different American experiences that exist side by side."</p> <p>In one America, people experience the opportunity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In the other America, people experience a daily ugliness. &hellip;</p> <p>My trips to Detroit, Appalachia, and Chicago have revealed what I call an &lsquo;undercurrent of unease.'</p> <p>I want all our children to have the same opportunities that I had. We need to stop limiting kids in poor neighborhoods to failing public schools and offer school choice, not just for the privileged, but for everyone!</p> <p>It won't happen, though, unless we realize that we can't borrow our way to prosperity.</p> <p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;</p> <p>In my vision for America, freedom and prosperity at home can only be achieved if we defend against enemies who are dead-set on attacking America.</p> <p>The enemy is radical Islam and not only will I name the enemy, I will do what ever it takes to defend America from these haters of mankind!</p> <p>We need a national defense robust enough to defend against all attack, modern enough to deter all enemies, and nimble enough to defend our vital interests.</p> <p>But we also need a foreign policy that protects American interests and encourages stability, not chaos!</p> <p>I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable, and unencumbered by overseas nation building!</p> <p>I envision a national defense that promotes, as Reagan put it, "Peace through Strength."</p> <p>I believe in applying Ronald Reagan's approach to foreign policy to the Iran issue.</p> <p>Successful negotiations with untrustworthy adversaries are only achieved from a position of strength.</p> <p>We brought Iran to the table from strength, through sanctions I voted for.</p> <p>Now we must stay strong. That's why I co-sponsored legislation that insures that any deal between the U.S. and Iran must be approved by Congress.</p> <p>Not only is that good policy, it is the law.</p> <p>I will oppose any deal that does not end Iran's nuclear ambitions and have strong verification measures. I will insist that any final version be brought before Congress.</p> <p>The difference between President Obama and myself-he seems to think you can negotiate from a position of weakness.</p> <p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;<br> We must realize, though, that we do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it to Pakistan.</p> <p>Let's quit building bridges in foreign countries and use that money to build some bridges here at home!</p> <p>It angers me to see mobs burning our flag and chanting death to America in countries that receive millions of dollars of our foreign aid.</p> <p>I say it must end. I say not one penny more to these haters of America!</p> <p>&mdash;&mdash;&mdash;</p> <p>Today begins the journey to take back America, to rescue a great country, now adrift.</p> <p>If you love liberty, stand with me!</p> <p>If you want to defeat the Washington machine, stand with me!</p> <p>God bless you. God bless America.</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 07 Apr 2015 17:28:58 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 273216 at http://www.motherjones.com Feds Say Georgia's Treatment of Transgender Prisoners Is Unconstitutional http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/doj-georgia-policy-trans-inmates-unconstitutional <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For three years, the Georgia Department of Corrections allegedly has denied transgender inmate Ashley Diamond medical treatment for <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/transgender-psychiatry-dsm-dysphoria" target="_blank">gender dysphoria</a>, causing her such distress that she has attempted on multiple occasions to castrate herself, cut off her penis, and kill herself. In February, Diamond filed a lawsuit against GDC officials, and on Friday the Department of Justice dealt the GDC a major blow, claiming that the state's failure to adequately treat inmates with gender dysphoria "constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment."</p> <p>The DOJ weighed in on Diamond's case via a statement of interest, which offers recommendations for how the district court in Georgia should rule in the case. It focused on Georgia's so-called freeze-frame policy, which prevents inmates from receiving hormone therapy for gender dysphoria if they were not identified as transgender and referred for treatment immediately during the prison intake process. "Freeze-frame policies and other policies that apply blanket prohibitions to such treatment are facially unconstitutional because they fail to provide individualized assessment and treatment of a serious medical need," DOJ officials wrote, adding that similar policies have been previously struck down in Wisconsin and New York.</p> <p>Chinyere Ezie, Diamond's lead attorney, says the defense has until next Friday to submit briefs in response to the complaint, which may include a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The first hearing for the case is scheduled for April 13. You can read the DOJ's entire statement below, and check out our <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/transgender-inmate-sues-georgia-prisons-torture" target="_blank">earlier coverage of Diamond's case</a>.</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1701497-diamond-statement-of-interest">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1701497-diamond-statement-of-interest.js", { width: 630, height: 354, sidebar: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1701497-diamond-statement-of-interest" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1701497/diamond-statement-of-interest.pdf">Diamond Statement of Interest (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1701497/diamond-statement-of-interest.txt">Diamond Statement of Interest (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Health Care Prisons Fri, 03 Apr 2015 20:36:13 +0000 Samantha Michaels 273061 at http://www.motherjones.com Chelsea Manning Just Started Tweeting From Prison http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/chelsea-manning-just-started-tweeting-prison <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Chelsea Manning has<a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea" target="_blank"> joined Twitter</a> from inside the walls of Kansas's Fort Leavenworth prison, where she is currently serving a 35-year sentence for providing classified material to Wikileaks. Using the handle @xychelsea, the account has already amassed over 12,000 followers.</p> <p>"She is committed to having a voice and engaging with the public and will try to be present on Twitter as much as she is able to connect with people on the outside," ACLU attorney Chase Strangio told <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/04/chelsea-manning-twitter-prison-116656.html" target="_blank"><em>Politico</em></a>.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>This is my new twitter account =P</p> &mdash; Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) <a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea/status/584022558925783040">April 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>I&rsquo;m hoping to stay connected w/ this account as much as poss., but would rather tweet about more meaningful things than not <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/lessismore?src=hash">#lessismore</a></p> &mdash; Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) <a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea/status/584023876717432832">April 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Tweeting from prison reqs a lot of effort and using a voice phone to dictate <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/90sproblems?src=hash">#90sproblems</a></p> &mdash; Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) <a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea/status/584027836257857536">April 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>It will be hard, but I don&rsquo;t want this Twitter feed to be a one-way street/conversation</p> &mdash; Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) <a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea/status/584028979570597888">April 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Starting with a shout out to the friends who have always stood by me <a href="https://twitter.com/ggreenwald">@ggreenwald</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/amnesty">@amnesty</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/carwinb">@carwinb</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SaveManning">@savemanning</a> and so many others <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/thankyou?src=hash">#thankyou</a></p> &mdash; Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) <a href="https://twitter.com/xychelsea/status/584054359249543168">April 3, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>In February, the military <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/12/chelsea-manning-hormone-therapy/23311813/" target="_blank">approved a request</a> from Manning, who was born a male and formerly went by the name Bradley, to undergo hormone therapy in order to transition into a woman. That same month, the <em>Guardian</em> announced it had <a href="https://twitter.com/kathviner/status/565193600775225344" target="_blank">hired</a> Manning to write from prison as a <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/profile/chelsea-e-manning" target="_blank">contributor</a> on topics of gender and war.</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice Media Tech Fri, 03 Apr 2015 19:41:34 +0000 Inae Oh 273071 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama Just Announced a Historic Nuclear Agreement With Iran http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/obama-iran-nuclear-deal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Speaking from the Rose Garden on Thursday, President Obama <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiJ8fe1T6_E#t=391" target="_blank">addressed</a> a preliminary agreement reached earlier in the day that seeks to limit<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/breaking-preliminary-agreement-reached-iran" target="_blank"> Iran's controversial nuclear program.</a> The deal, which includes the participation of European allies, is expected to lead to a final phase of negotiations before a set June 30 deadline.</p> <p>"I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final compromise deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer," Obama said on Thursday. "This has been a long time coming."</p> <p>Obama said that any "backsliding" on Iran's part would lead to the deal's collapse. In the press conference, the president also reaffirmed his commitment to protecting peaceful interests in Israel and the Middle East. Prior to Obama's address, both sides, although optimistic, noted <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/03/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-talks.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=a-lede-package-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">key differences</a> still remained.</p> <p>Watch the full press conference below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/VtHKSK2oUPg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>For the text on the preliminary agreement, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/documents/1700178-parameters-for-a-joint-comprehenisve-plan-of" target="_blank">read the document here.</a> Here's the transcript of Obama's press conference courtesy of the <em><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/04/02/president-obamas-full-remarks-announcing-a-framework-for-a-nuclear-deal-with-iran/" target="_blank">Washington Post </a></em>below:</p> <blockquote> <p>Today, the United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached a historic understanding with Iran, which, if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.</p> <p>As president and commander in chief, I have no greater responsibility than the security of the American people, and I am convinced that if this framework leads to a final, comprehensive deal, it will make our country, our allies, and our world safer. This has been a long time coming.</p> <p>The Islamic Republic of Iran has been advancing its nuclear program for decades. By the time I took office, Iran was operating thousands of centrifuges, which can produce the materials for a nuclear bomb. And Iran was concealing a covert nuclear facility.</p> <p>I made clear that we were prepared to resolve this issue diplomatically, but only if Iran came to the table in a serious way.</p> <p>When that did not happen, we rallied the world to impose the toughest sanctions in history, sanctions which had a profound impact on the Iranian economy.</p> <p>Now, sanctions alone could not stop Iran's nuclear program, but they did help bring Iran to the negotiating table. Because of our diplomatic efforts, the world stood with us, and we were joined at the negotiating table by the world's major powers: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China as well as the European Union.</p> <p>Over a year ago, we took the first step towards today's framework with a deal to stop the progress of Iran's nuclear program and roll it back in key areas.</p> <p>And recall that at the time, skeptics argued that Iran would cheat, that we could not verify their compliance, and the interim agreement would fail. Instead, it has succeeded exactly as intended. Iran has met all of its obligations.</p> <p>It eliminated its stockpile of dangerous nuclear material, inspections of Iran's program increased, and we continued negotiations to see if we could achieve a more comprehensive deal.</p> <p>Today, after many months of tough principle diplomacy, we have achieved the framework for that deal. And it is a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.</p> <p>This framework would cut off every pathway that Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will face strict limitations on its program, and Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history. So this deal is not based on trust. It's based on unprecedented verification.</p> <p>Many key details will be finalized over the next three months. And nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed. But here are the basic outlines of the deal that we are working to finalize.</p> <p>First, Iran will not be able to pursue a bomb using plutonium because it will not develop weapons grade plutonium. The core of its reactor at Arak will be dismantled and replaced. The spent fuel from that facility will be shipped out of Iran for the life of the reactor. Iran will not build a new heavy water reactor. And Iran will not reprocess fuel from its existing reactors, ever.</p> <p>Second, this deal shuts down Iran's path to a bomb using enriched uranium. Iran has agreed that its installed centrifuges will be reduced by two thirds. Iran will no longer enrich uranium at its Fordo facility. Iran will not enrich uranium with its advanced centrifuges for at least the next 10 years. The vast majority of Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium will be neutralized.</p> <p>Today, estimates indicate that Iran is only two or three months away from potentially acquiring the raw materials that could be used for a single nuclear bomb. Under this deal, Iran has agreed that it will not stockpile the materials needed to build a weapon. Even if it violated the deal, for the next decade at least, Iran would be a minimum of a year away from acquiring enough material for a bomb. And the strict limitations on Iran's stockpile will last for 15 years.</p> <p>Third, this deal provides the best possible defense against Iran's ability to pursue a nuclear weapon covertly, that is in secret. International inspectors will have unprecedented access not only to Iranian nuclear facilities, but to the entire supply chain that supports Iran's nuclear program, from uranium mills that provide the raw materials to the centrifuge production and storage facilities that support the program.</p> <p>If Iran cheats, the world will know it. If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. Iran's past efforts to weaponize its program will be addressed.</p> <p>With this deal, Iran will face more inspections than any other country in the world. So, this will be a long-term deal that addresses each path to a potential Iranian nuclear bomb.</p> <p>There will be strict limits on Iran's program for a decade. Additional restrictions on building new facilities or stockpiling materials will last for 15 years. The unprecedented transparency measures will last for 20 years or more. Indeed, some will be permanent. And as a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.</p> <p>In return for Iran's actions, the international community has agreed to provide Iran with relief from certain sanctions. Our own sanctions and international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council. This relief will be phased, as Iran takes steps to adhere to the deal. If Iran violates the deal, sanctions can be snapped back into place.</p> <p>Meanwhile, other American sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism, its human rights abuses, its ballistic missile program, will continue to be fully enforced.</p> <p>Now let me re-emphasize, our work is not yet done. The deal has not been signed. Between now and the end of June, the negotiators will continue to work through the details of how this framework will be fully implemented and those details matter.</p> <p>If there is backsliding on the part of the Iranians, if the verification and inspection mechanisms don't meet the specifications of our nuclear and security experts, there will be no deal.</p> <p>But if we can get this done and Iran follows through on the framework that our negotiators agreed to, we will be able to resolve one of the greatest threats to our security and to do so peacefully.</p> <p>Given the importance of this issue, I have instructed my negotiators to fully brief Congress and the American people on the substance the deal. And I welcome a robust debate in the weeks and months to come.</p> <p>I am confident that we can show that this deal is good for the security of the United States, for our allies and for the world.</p> <p>But the fact is we only have three options for addressing Iran's nuclear program. First, we can reach a robust and verifiable deal, like this one, and peacefully prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.</p> <p>The second option is we can bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, thereby starting another war in the Middle East and setting back Iran's program by a few years. In other words, setting it back by a fraction of the time that this deal will set it back. Meanwhile, we'd ensure that Iran would raise their head to try and build a bomb.</p> <p>Third, we could pull out of negotiations, try to get other countries to go along and continue sanctions that are currently in place or add additional ones and hope for the best. Knowing that every time we have done so, Iran has not capitulated, but instead has advanced its program. And that in very short order, the breakout timeline would be eliminated and a nuclear arms race in the region could be triggered because of that uncertainty.</p> <p>In other words, the third option leads us very quickly back to a decision about whether or not to take military action because we'd have no idea what was going on inside of Iran. Iran is not going to simply dismantle its program because we demand it to do so.</p> <p>That's not how the world works. And that's not what history shows us. Iran has shown no willingness to eliminate those aspects of their program that they maintain are for peaceful purposes, even in the face of unprecedented sanctions.</p> <p>Should negotiations collapse because we, the United States, rejected what the majority of the world considers a fair deal, what our scientists and nuclear experts suggest would give us confidence that they are not developing a nuclear weapon, it's doubtful that we could even keep our current international sanctions in place.</p> <p>So when you hear the inevitable critics of the deal sound off, ask them a simple question: Do you really think that this verifiable deal, if fully implemented, backed by the world's major powers, is a worse option than the risk of another war in the Middle East? Is it worse than doing what we've done for almost two decades with Iran moving forward with its nuclear program and without robust inspections?</p> <p>I think the answer will be clear. Remember, I have always insisted that I will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, and I will.</p> <p>But I also know that a diplomatic solution is the best way to get this done and offers a more comprehensive and lasting solution. It is our best option by far. And while it is always a possibility that Iran may try to cheat on the deal in the future, this framework of inspections and transparency makes it far more likely that we'll know about it if they try to cheat, and I or future presidents will have preserved all of the options that are currently available to deal with it.</p> <p>To the Iranian people, I want to reaffirm what I've said since the beginning of my presidency. We are willing to engage you on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect.</p> <p>This deal offers the prospect of relief from sanctions that were imposed because of Iran's violation of international law. Since Iran's supreme leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, this framework gives Iran the opportunity to verify that it's program is, in fact, peaceful. It demonstrates that if Iran complies with its international obligations, then it can fully rejoin the community of nations, thereby fulfilling the extraordinary talent and aspirations of the Iranian people. That would be good for Iran, and it would be good for the world.</p> <p>Of course, this deal alone, even if fully implemented, will not end the deep divisions and mistrust between our two countries. We have a difficult history between us.</p> <p>And our concerns will remain with respect to Iranian behavior so long as Iran continues its sponsorship of terrorism, its support for proxies who destabilize the Middle East, its threats against America's friends and allies, like Israel.</p> <p>So make no mistake, we will remain vigilant in countering those actions and standing with our allies.</p> <p>It's no secret that the Israeli prime minister and I don't agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue. If in fact Prime Minister Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option.</p> <p>And I believe our nuclear experts can confirm that.</p> <p>More importantly, I will be speaking with the prime minister today to make clear that there will be no daylight, there is no daylight when it comes to our support for Israel's security and our concerns about Iran's destabilizing policies and threats towards Israel.</p> <p>That's why I've directed my national security team to consult closely with the new Israeli government in the coming weeks and months about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and make clear our unshakeable commitment to Israel's defense.</p> <p>Today, I also spoke with the king of Saudi Arabia, to reaffirm our commitment to the security of our partners in the Gulf. And I am inviting the leaders of the six countries who make up the Gulf Cooperation Council, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain to meet me at Camp David this spring to discuss how we can further strengthen our security cooperation while resolving the multiple conflicts that have caused so much hardship and instability throughout the Middle East.</p> <p>Finally, it's worth remembering that Congress has, on a bipartisan basis, played a critical role in our current Iran policy, helping to shape the sanctions regime that applied so much pressure on Iran and ultimately forced them to the table.</p> <p>In the coming days and weeks, my administration will engage Congress once again about how we can play -- how it can play a constructive oversight role. I'll begin that effort by speaking to the leaders of the House and the Senate today.</p> <p>In those conversations, I will underscore that the issues at stake here are bigger than politics. These are matters of war and peace. And they should be evaluated based on the facts, and what is ultimately best for the American people and for our national security. For, this is not simply a deal between my administration and Iran. This is a deal between Iran, the United States of America and the major powers in the world, including some of our closest allies.</p> <p>If Congress kills this deal not based on expert analysis, and without offering any reasonable alternative, then it's the United States that will be blamed for the failure of diplomacy. International unity will collapse, and the path to conflict will widen.</p> <p>The American people understand this, which is why a solid majority support a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue. They understand instinctively the words of President Kennedy, who faced down the far greater threat of Communism, and said, "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate." The American people remembered that at the height of the Cold War.</p> <p>Presidents like Nixon and Reagan struck historic arms control agreements with the Soviet Union, a far more dangerous adversary, despite the fact that that adversary not only threatened to destroy our country and our way of life, but had the means to do so.</p> <p>Those agreements were not perfect. They did not end all threats. But they made our world safer. A good deal with Iran will do the same. Today I'd like to express my thanks to our international partners for their steadfastness, their cooperation.</p> <p>I was able to speak earlier today with our close allies, Prime Minister Cameron and President Holland and Chancellor Merkel, to reaffirm that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder in this effort. And most of all, on behalf of our nation, I want to express my thanks to our tireless -- and I mean tireless -- Secretary of State John Kerry and our entire negotiating team. They have worked so hard to make this progress. They represent the best tradition of American diplomacy.</p> <p>Their work, our work, is not yet done and success is not guaranteed. But we have a historic opportunity to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in Iran and to do so peacefully, with the international community firmly behind us. We should seize that chance. Thank you. God bless you. And god bless the United States of America.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo Video International Obama Thu, 02 Apr 2015 19:38:15 +0000 Inae Oh 273006 at http://www.motherjones.com BREAKING: Iran Nuclear Deal Reached http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/breaking-preliminary-agreement-reached-iran <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><a href="http://nation.foxnews.com/2015/04/02/preliminary-agreement-reportedly-reached-iran-nuke-talks" target="_blank">Wow</a>.</p> <blockquote> <p>The U.S. and other international negotiators reportedly have agreed to the outlines of an understanding with Iran that would allow for a final phase of nuclear talks.</p> <p>The Associated Press, citing officials, reported on the agreement, while noting that negotiators are still in a dispute over how much to make public.</p> </blockquote> <p>A press conference is about to begin to announce the details (<a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/live-video/watch-live-iran-nuclear-talks-update-322484291648" target="_blank">WATCH HERE</a>), but according to Reuters it looks like Iran has agreed to suspend much of its nuclear program.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>BREAKING: Powers, Iran agree that over two-thirds of Iran's current enrichment capacity will be suspended, monitored for 10 years: source</p> &mdash; Reuters Top News (@Reuters) <a href="https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/583679335292362752">April 2, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>UPDATE</strong>: Here is the White House fact sheet on the deal:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1700178-parameters-for-a-joint-comprehenisve-plan-of">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1700178-parameters-for-a-joint-comprehenisve-plan-of.js", { width: 630, height: 400, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1700178-parameters-for-a-joint-comprehenisve-plan-of" }); </script></body></html> MoJo Thu, 02 Apr 2015 17:43:45 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 272996 at http://www.motherjones.com Arkansas Governor Asks For Changes to Religious Freedom Bill http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/arkansas-governor-pulls-back-support-religious-freedom-bill <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called for changes in the state's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/arkansas-rfra-indiana-lgbt-discrimination" target="_blank">controversial religious freedom bill</a> on Wednesday, amid mounting criticism from businesses, local leaders, gay rights advocates, and even members of his own family.&nbsp;</p> <p>Hutchinson said in a press conference that he would not sign the bill as presented to his desk and&nbsp;asked state lawmakers to change the bill's language to "mirror"&nbsp;the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Twenty other states, including Indiana,&nbsp;have similar <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/civil-and-criminal-justice/state-rfra-statutes.aspx" target="_blank">religious freedom legislation</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>"This is a bill that in ordinary times would not be controversial,"&nbsp;Hutchinson <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/arkansas-indiana-religious-freedom-hutchinson-pence.html?_r=0" target="_blank">told reporters</a>. "But these are not ordinary times."</p> <p>In a press conference on Tuesday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, whose state has also faced a barrage of criticism from <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-backlash-pence-religious-freedom-lgbt" target="_blank">businesses, celebrities and athletes alike</a>, <a href="http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/31/gov-mike-pence-hold-news-conference-clarify-religious-freedom-law/70712968/" target="_blank">called on lawmakers</a> to clarify Indiana's religious freedom bill that "makes it clear that this law does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone." &nbsp;</p> <p>Though Hutchinson had once said he would approve the bill with amendments, the governor <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/arkansas-religious-freedom-bill_n_6985604.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000016" target="_blank">shifted his stance</a> after <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/arkansas-gov-speaks-on-rfra#.xcWVwM8Gj" target="_blank">receiving backlash</a> from local leaders and businesses,&nbsp;including Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who called on the governor to veto the bill.&nbsp;</p> <p>"Today's passage of HB1228 threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold,"&nbsp;McMillon said <a href="http://news.walmart.com/news-archive/2015/03/31/walmart-statement-on-arkansas-house-bill-1228" target="_blank">in a statement</a>. "For these reasons, we are asking Governor Hutchinson to veto this legislation."</p> <p>Hutchinson <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/01/arkansas-religious-freedom-bill_n_6985604.html?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000016" target="_blank">told reporters</a> that the controversial legislation, which critics say would allow individuals and&nbsp;businesses to discriminate against gay men and lesbians, hit home. His son, Seth, a labor organizer with the Texas State Employees Union, asked him to veto the legislation. "I love my dad, and we have a good, close relationship," Hutchinson's son&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/02/us/arkansas-governors-son-thurst-into-spotlight-over-religious-freedom-bill.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">told the <i>New York Times</i></a>. "But we disagree a lot on political issues. This is just another one, but a lot of families disagree politically. But we stay close."</p> <p>"The issue has become divisive because our nation remains split on how to balance the diversity of our culture with the traditions and firmly held religious convictions," Hutchinson said. "It has divided families, and there is clearly a generational gap on this issue."</p> <p>The Arkansas General Assembly has not yet agreed to recall and amend the bill. The governor declined to say whether he would veto the bill if it returned to his desk unchanged.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Gay Rights Top Stories Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:21:41 +0000 Edwin Rios 272811 at http://www.motherjones.com Indiana Pizzeria Says It Will Not Cater Gay Weddings http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/indiana-pizzeria-gay-couples <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Catering pizza to your wedding guests might sound unconventional, but <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/explore/pizza-wedding/" target="_blank">it does happen</a>. Oh, <em><a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pizza+wedding&amp;safe=off&amp;tbm=isch&amp;tbo=u&amp;source=univ&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=QvobVaflB8meggSH-4LYCw&amp;ved=0CB4QsAQ&amp;biw=1268&amp;bih=643" target="_blank">does it happen</a></em>.</p> <p>But if you're gay and in Indiana, don't call Memories Pizzeria in Walkerton: They won't help you make your wedding memories. The owners of the family-run business say it will refuse to serve slices to gay or lesbian weddings, joining a <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/31/us/indiana-religious-freedom-discrimination-opinions/" target="_blank">chorus</a> of those who cite opposition to marriage equality in support of their state's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act.</p> <p>Crystal O'Connor, who runs the business, <a href="http://www.abc57.com/story/28681598/rfra-first-business-to-publicly-deny-same-sex-service" target="_blank">told local news outlet ABC57,</a> "If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no," because it was not reflective of their Christian values.</p> <p>In doing so, O'Connor insisted such a move would not be an act of discrimination, as many <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-backlash-pence-religious-freedom-lgbt" target="_blank">critics </a>of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act have argued. "I do not think it's targeting gays," she said. "I don't think it's discrimination. It's supposed to help people that have a religious belief."</p> <p>O'Connor's father, Kevin, also appeared in ABC's report telling the reporter being gay is a choice. "Why should I be beat over the head to go along with something they choose?"</p> <p>Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana claims that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/03/indiana-is-like-barely-a-state-anyway-amirite" target="_blank">outrage</a> over the new law, which was passed last Thursday, is the product of "mischaracterization," and that the law's intent was simply to protect religious liberties. Yesterday, he <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/indianas-pence-looks-fix-blames-obamacare" target="_blank">acknowledged</a> the mounting criticism and said he would be seeking a "legislative fix" to the law.</p> <p>Despite the national backlash to Indiana's law, the Arkansas state legislature followed suit yesterday by passing its own <a href="http://bit.ly/1IjUkFo" target="_blank">religious freedom bill. </a></p> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://WBND.images.worldnow.com/interface/js/WNVideo.js?rnd=886171;hostDomain=www.abc57.com;playerWidth=630;playerHeight=355;isShowIcon=true;clipId=11319394;flvUri=;partnerclipid=;adTag=News;advertisingZone=;enableAds=true;landingPage=;islandingPageoverride=false;playerType=STANDARD_EMBEDDEDscript;controlsType=overlay"></script><p><a href="http://www.abc57.com" title="ABC57 News - See the Difference Michiana">ABC57 News - See the Difference Michiana</a></p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Gay Rights Wed, 01 Apr 2015 14:23:57 +0000 Inae Oh 272756 at http://www.motherjones.com Walmart Gave Workers a Raise—But It's Not Enough to Keep Them off the Dole http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/04/walmart-workers-raise-not-enough-public-assistance <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A typical Walmart Supercenter costs taxpayers more than $900,000 a year in public assistance doled out to its low-wage workers. This fact, published in a congressional <a href="http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/documents/WalMartReport-May2013.pdf" target="_blank">report in 2013</a>, galvanized labor protests at Walmart stores across the country last year, leading the retail giant to announce in February that it would give some 500,000 workers a raise. (Today, McDonald's announced <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-01/mcdonald-s-will-raise-worker-pay-by-more-than-10-journal-says" target="_blank">a similar increase</a>). And that's something. But according to a report <a href="http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/files/Taxpayers-and-Walmart-ATF.pdf" target="_blank">released today</a> by Americans for Tax Fairness, Walmart's pay is still far too low to wean many "associates" from federal subsidies such as food stamps and Section 8 housing.</p> <p>Under Walmart's new plan, full-time associates who've completed a six-month training program will earn at least $10 an hour next year. Many Walmart workers, however, are <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/fired-retaliation-strike-walmart-black-friday" target="_blank">involuntary part-timers</a>, and nearly half of the associates turn over each year. But workers who qualify for the $10 base wage by working at least 34 hours a week, which Walmart considers "full time," would still earn only $17,680 a year&mdash;well below the cutoff for many federal assistance programs, especially if a worker has children.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/walmart-tableWEB.gif"><div class="caption">Americans for Tax Fairness</div> </div> <p>The four Walton heirs, who are collectively worth <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/walmart-walton-heirs-net-worth-cities" target="_blank">$144.7 billion</a>, are Walmart's largest stockholders and constitute the nation's wealthiest family. If they wanted to stop enriching themselves at the expense of taxpayers, they could pay their workers at least $15 an hour for a 40-hour workweek. According to Americans for Tax Fairness, this would have cost Walmart about $10.8 billion in 2014, or about half of the increase in the Waltons' net worth that year.</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Corporations Income Inequality Labor Top Stories Walmart Wed, 01 Apr 2015 10:20:06 +0000 Josh Harkinson 272736 at http://www.motherjones.com America Ranks in the Top 5 Globally—for Putting Its Citizens to Death http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/us-ranks-top-5-executions-amnesty-international <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We're No. 5! We're No. 5!</p> <p>America once again ranks among the top five nations in the world&mdash;in executions. Sigh. That's according to a new report from Amnesty International, which also notes that more and more nations have been opting not to kill their convicts.</p> <p>Amnesty tallies at least 607 known executions in 22 countries in 2014. The good news? That's a 22 percent decline from 2013. Here at home, states dispatched 35 American citizens last year, a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/death-penalty-executions-lowest-decades" target="_blank">20-year low</a>&mdash;and four less than in 2013. But there's no accounting for China, which executes more people than all other countries combined but treats the data as a state secret. (Amnesty made its count by looking at a range of sources, including official figures, reports from civil society groups, media accounts, and information from death row convicts and their families.)</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="480" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/3Ta3K/3/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Amnesty also reports a drop in the number of countries that carried out executions, from 42 in 1995 to 22 last year, although many more still have the death penalty on the books. The United States is the last country in the Americas that still puts people to death, but US citizens appear to be <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/12/death-penalty-executions-lowest-decades" target="_blank">increasingly opposed</a> to the practice. Only seven states executed convicts in 2014, compared with nine states a year earlier. The overwhelming majority of those executions&mdash;nearly 90 percent&mdash;took place in four states: Texas, Missouri, Florida and Oklahoma. (<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/alcoholic-lawyer-botched-robert-wayne-holsey-death-penalty-trial" target="_blank">Georgia</a> had two, and Arizona and Ohio had one execution each.)</p> <p>Eighteen states have abolished the death penalty, but among those that have not, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming haven't put anyone to death in at least a decade, Amnesty noted. Oregon and Washington have moratoriums on executions, and federal authorities have not put anyone to death since 2003.</p> <p>The bad news is, from 2013 to 2014, the number of death <em>sentences</em> jumped nearly 30 percent globally, to at least 2,466. Amnesty points in part to Nigeria, which imposed 659 death sentences last year as military courts punished numerous soldiers for mutiny and other offenses amid armed conflict with Boko Haram militants. Egypt was also to blame for the increase, Amnesty said, as Egyptian courts handed down death sentences against 210 Muslim Brotherhood supporters in April and June.</p> <p>In all, 55 countries sentenced people to death last year. Here, according to Amnesty, are the most notable:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="400" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" msallowfullscreen="msallowfullscreen" oallowfullscreen="oallowfullscreen" src="//mjdwcharts.s3.amazonaws.com/BXpwj/1/index.html" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="100%"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Charts Crime and Justice Human Rights International Top Stories Capital Punishment Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:00:09 +0000 Samantha Michaels 272621 at http://www.motherjones.com Arkansas Just Passed Its Own Indiana-Style "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/arkansas-rfra-indiana-lgbt-discrimination <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Despite <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-backlash-pence-religious-freedom-lgbt" target="_blank">national outcry</a> over a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-gov-mike-pence-signs-gay-discrimination-bill" target="_blank">similar bill</a> in Indiana, the Arkansas state Legislature on Tuesday passed its own 'Religious Freedom Restoration Act' which critics warn would allow business owners to discriminate against gay, lesbian, and transgendered people on religious grounds.&nbsp;</p> <p>The bill now goes to Republican state&nbsp;Gov. Asa Hutchinson who<a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/dominicholden/religious-freedom-bill-heads-to-arkansas-governors-desk-amid#.gfRWzAxrX" target="_blank"> vowed last week to sign it.</a> Attempts by state lawmakers to add a provision that would prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians were blocked, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/01/us/governor-mike-pence-defends-indiana-religious-freedom-restoration-act.html?module=Notification&amp;version=BreakingNews&amp;region=FixedTop&amp;action=Click&amp;contentCollection=BreakingNews&amp;contentID=31846900&amp;pgtype=Blogs&amp;gwh=768CF5DAD684F4998A9992A4D9DC275F&amp;gwt=pay&amp;assetType=nyt_now&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">according to <em>the New York Times.</em></a></p> <p>"The Arkansas and Indiana bills are virtually identical in terms of language and intent," Human Rights Campaign legal director Sarah Warbelow <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/31/arkansas-religious-freedom_n_6979166.html?utm_hp_ref=tw" target="_blank">told<em> the Huffington Post</em></a>. "They place LGBT people, people of color, religious minorities, women and many more people at risk of discrimination."</p> <p>Like Indiana, Arkansas is already facing mounting criticism over the bill. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/walmart-lgbt-discrimination-proposal_n_6751626.html?utm_hp_ref=tw" target="_blank">Walmart</a>, which is based in Bentonville, and data-services company&nbsp;<a href="http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/03/31/3641057/arkansas-rfra-hutchinson/" target="_blank">Acxiom</a> have openly criticized the bill.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:46:31 +0000 Edwin Rios 272716 at http://www.motherjones.com Backer of Indiana Law Says "It's Impossible to Satisfy the Homosexual Lobby" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/03/bryan-fischer-indiana-law <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Considering it seems like everyone from <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-backlash-pence-religious-freedom-lgbt" target="_blank">Tim Cook</a> to the whole state of Connecticut is incensed by a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/indiana-gov-mike-pence-signs-gay-discrimination-bill" target="_blank">new law</a> that allows Indiana businesses to refuse service to LGBT customers based on "religious grounds," it seems crazy to think anyone is still out there actually defending it&mdash;at least openly. Alas, here's Bryan Fischer of "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/09/bryan-fischer-values-voter-summit" target="_blank">gay sex is terrorism"</a> notoriety and head of the American Family Association, to prove otherwise:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>The pressure Big Gay has put on Indiana is proof they are not about "marriage equality" but "homosexual supremacy."</p>&mdash; Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) <a href="https://twitter.com/BryanJFischer/status/582943799577612288">March 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Indiana will soon find it is impossible to satisfy the homosexual lobby. They will immediately be back for more. And more.</p> &mdash; Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) <a href="https://twitter.com/BryanJFischer/status/582952611298566144">March 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>Indiana to Christian wedding vendors: in any conflict between you and Big Gay, we're coming down on the side of Big Gay.</p> &mdash; Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) <a href="https://twitter.com/BryanJFischer/status/582959103762370561">March 31, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gov. Mike Pence may now be trying to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/31/indiana-religious-freedom_n_6977170.html" target="_blank">play down</a> criticism the law discriminates against gay people, support from people like Fischer make it difficult to make such an argument.<br> &nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Religion Tue, 31 Mar 2015 20:16:12 +0000 Inae Oh 272701 at http://www.motherjones.com