Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2014/10/Twitter%20%3Cspan%20class%3D http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Media Goes Wild Over Hagel Firing But Not Obama's Secret Afghanistan Reversal http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/chuck-hagel-defense-pentagon-fired-afghanistan <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>There's little the Washington-centric political-media universe loves more than the story of a fallen star. The defenestration of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reporters and pundits in a schadenfreude-driven tizzy. Was he fired? Was he in over his head? OMG, look at how the White House is dumping on him, as he departs! Who's passing nasty notes in class about him?</p> <p>The presumably forced resignation of Hagel is indeed big news. The Obama administration is confronting a host of new national security challenges: ISIS, Ukraine, Ebola. So the guy (or gal) in charge of the Pentagon has to be nimble and able to handle this expanding and shifting to-do list. And Hagel, ever since his underwhelming performance at his confirmation hearing, has not been (at least in public) a confidence-inspiring Cabinet member. So perhaps President Barack Obama can do better&mdash;though the <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/wow--36" target="_blank">elbowing</a> Hagel is receiving on the way out seems poor manners.</p> <p>Yet here's a useful exercise. Compare the red-hot media reaction to Hagel's bye-bye to the response to the <em>New York Times</em>' <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/22/us/politics/in-secret-obama-extends-us-role-in-afghan-combat.html?src=twr" target="_blank">eye-popping report </a>that Obama signed a secret order to expand the US military mission in Afghanistan next year. The story about one man&mdash;yes, one of the cool kids in DC&mdash;is at least an order of magnitude higher on the MediaReax-ometer. Any tidbit from an anonymous source about de-Hagelization gets immediate attention from tweeting journos. But the story about this significant policy shift has prompted mostly a yawn.</p> <p>In case you missed it&mdash;the story was posted online on Friday but appeared in Saturday's dead-trees edition&mdash;the <em>Times </em>revealed that Obama, who last May said the United States would have no combat missions in Afghanistan in 2015 (and only train Afghan forces and hunt Al Qaeda "remnants"), had secretly authorized American forces</p> <blockquote> <p>to carry out missions against the <a class="meta-org" href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/t/taliban/index.html?inline=nyt-org" title="More articles about the Taliban.">Taliban</a> and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision. The new authorization also allows American jets, bombers and <a class="meta-classifier" href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/unmanned_aerial_vehicles/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier" title="More articles about unmanned aerial vehicles.">drones</a> to support Afghan troops on combat missions.</p> </blockquote> <aside class="marginalia related-coverage-marginalia nocontent robots-nocontent" data-marginalia-type="sprinkled" role="complementary"><div class="nocontent robots-nocontent"> <p>This is a quasi-BFD&mdash;and the result of what the <em>Times </em>called "a lengthy and heated debate that laid bare the tension inside the Obama administration between two often-competing imperatives: the promise Mr. Obama made to end the war in Afghanistan, versus the demands of the Pentagon that American troops be able to successfully fulfill their remaining missions in the country."</p> <p>In other words, Obama, for good or bad, has decided to extend the war he said he was ending. This report did not produce a cable news frenzy or a storm of tweets. But it's just as important as who's going to be in charge of implementing this major change of plans&mdash;if not more so.</p> </div> </aside></body></html> MoJo Afghanistan Foreign Policy Military Obama Top Stories Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:03:40 +0000 David Corn 265336 at http://www.motherjones.com Chuck Hagel Resigning as Secretary of Defense http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/chuck-hagel-resigning-secretary-defense <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Barack Obama is expected to announce the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Monday. <em>The New York Times</em> reports that the president's decision to ask Hagel to step down follows a series of meetings, which concluded that a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/25/us/hagel-said-to-be-stepping-down-as-defense-chief-under-pressure.html" target="_blank">change in leadership</a> was needed in order to deal with international threats including the Islamic State.</p> <p>Candidates for Hagel's replacement <a href="https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/536897884294508544" target="_blank">reportedly</a> include former Undersecretary of Defense Michelle Flournoy, former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, and Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.)&nbsp;<span style="font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 24px; ">Hagel, the only Republican in the president's national security team, is expected to remain until a successor is named.</span></p> <p>Less than two years on the job, this is the first major resignation from Obama's cabinet following the Democrats' disappointing midterm elections. From an administration <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/defense-secretary-chuck-hagel-step-down-n254846" target="_blank">official:</a></p> <blockquote>Over the past two years, Secretary Hagel helped manage an intense period of transition for the United States Armed Forces, including the drawdown in Afghanistan, the need to prepare our forces for future missions, and tough fiscal choices to keep our military strong and ready. Over nearly two years, Secretary Hagel has been a steady hand, guiding our military through this transition, and helping us respond to challenges from ISIL to Ebola. In October, Secretary Hagel began speaking with the President about departing the Administration given the natural post-midterms transition time.</blockquote> <p>Earlier this month, Hagel announced the country's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/hagel-air-force-nuclear-weapons-overhaul-icbm-larry-welch" target="_blank">nuclear weapons program </a>would be undergoing a massive overhaul after the Pentagon released a review citing antiquated equipment and poor leadership plaguing the nuclear forces.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Military Obama Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:36:30 +0000 Inae Oh 265331 at http://www.motherjones.com The Ohlone People Were Forced Out of San Francisco. Now They Want Part of Their Land Back. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/ohlone-san-francisco-cultural-center <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Kl4_Kg6kvzc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>"There are only three ways to get land," said Tony Cerda, chairman of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribe, <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ohlones-want-a-voice-on-Hunters-Point-project-3256436.php" target="_blank">in 2010</a>. "You can buy it, have it given to you, or steal it." It's clear which one of those applies to his people, the Ohlone, who lived in the central California coastal region for <a href="http://www.costanoanrumsen.org/history.html" target="_blank">thousands of years</a> prior to the arrival of Spanish missionaries in the 1700s. The Ohlone once numbered as many as 15,000 on lands stretching from the San Francisco Bay to Big Sur. But following years of enslavement under the Spanish mission system and, later, persecution by settlers, they are now largely a people in exile.</p> <p>Cerda's tribe&mdash;about 2,000 people living in the Pomona area east of Los Angeles&mdash;are now the largest contemporary Ohlone group in the state. They're leading the push for cultural recognition in the city of San Francisco. Specifically, they're asking the city for land to build a cultural center as part of a proposed <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ohlones-want-a-voice-on-Hunters-Point-project-3256436.php" target="_blank">shoreline redevelopment project</a> in the Hunters Point Shipyard area. The area was once the location of a historic Ohlone village and burial site&mdash;one of <a href="http://ipocshellmoundwalk.homestead.com/shellmound.html" target="_blank">over 425</a> in the San Francisco Bay region.</p> <p>Ohlone leaders say a cultural center would highlight the oft-overlooked history of California's native people while serving as a permanent place for today's tribes to continue their song, dance, language, and art traditions. And they're also hoping to rebuild their cultural presence through community events like the annual Big Time Gathering, which took place in October in San Francisco's Presidio National Park. This year's gathering was the biggest yet, drawing more than 100 Native Californians from seven different tribes. Their goal is to honor their roots, says Neil Maclean, one of the event's organizers: "Through hearing them sing, seeing them dance, and joining with them in ceremony, the Ohlone will tell their side about what it is like to survive."</p></body></html> MoJo Video Race and Ethnicity Regulatory Affairs Religion Top Stories Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:08 +0000 Prashanth Kamalakanthan 265066 at http://www.motherjones.com Native Children Have the Same Rate of PTSD as Combat Veterans http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/native-children-have-same-rate-ptsd-combat-veterans <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Here's the most sobering statistic you'll see today: American-Indian and Alaskan Native children experience PTSD at the same rate at veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to a new report from a Department of Justice advisory committee, 22 percent of American-Indian and Alaskan Native juveniles have PTSD&mdash;three times higher than the national rate. Among other proposals, the committee recommends Congress grant tribes the ability to prosecute non-Indians who abuse children. Under the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Congress empowered tribes to prosecute non-Indians who commit domestic violence, but left other crimes, like sexual abuse, untouched.</p> <p>You can read the full report here:</p> <div class="DC-note-container" id="DC-note-188681">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/notes/loader.js"></script><script> dc.embed.loadNote('//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1368962-finalaianreport/annotations/188681.js'); </script></body></html> MoJo Health Human Rights Race and Ethnicity Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:22:13 +0000 Tim Murphy 265281 at http://www.motherjones.com President Obama Acted Unilaterally on Immigration and the Right Is Predictably Outraged http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/president-obama-acted-unilaterally-immigration-and-right-outraged <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>President Barack Obama, who has issued fewer executive orders than any president since Grover Cleveland, issued a set of directives this week to protect 5 million undocumented residents from deportation. The <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/obama-executive-action-immigration-senate" target="_blank">new executive actions</a> will allow undocumented parents of US citizens to stay in the country, and allow children who were brought to the United States by their parents to apply for employment visas. It also, according to various Republican critics, cements Obama's status as a dictator, a king, an emperor, and maybe even a maniac bent on ethnic cleansing:</p> <p><strong>Obama is a king.</strong> "The president acts like he's a king," Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/26/politics/rand-paul-obama/" target="_blank">said</a>. "He ignores the Constitution. He arrogantly says, 'If Congress will not act, then I must.' These are not the words of a great leader. These are the words that sound more like the exclamations of an autocrat."</p> <p><strong>This will lead to anarchy. </strong>"The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it's going to be a very serious situation," retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told <em><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/19/usa-today-capital-download-with-tom-coburn/19263969/" target="_blank">USA Today</a>. "</em>You're going to see&mdash;hopefully not&mdash;but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence."</p> <p><strong>He could go to jail. </strong>Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) told <a href="http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/11/19/alabama_rep_mo_brooks_says_obama_s_executive_action_over_immigration_could.html" target="_blank"><em>Slate</em></a> that the president might be committing a felony: "At some point, you have to evaluate whether the president's conduct aids or abets, encourages, or entices foreigners to unlawfully cross into the United States of America. That has a five-year in-jail penalty associated with it."</p> <p><strong>Is ethnic cleansing next?</strong> When asked by a talk-radio called on Thursday if the new executive actions would lead to "ethnic cleansing," Kansas Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach said <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kris-kobach-obama-ethnic-cleansing" target="_blank">it just might</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>What protects us in America from any kind of ethnic cleansing is the rule of law, of course. And the rule of law used to be unassailable, used to be taken for granted in America. And now, of course, we have a President who disregards the law when it suits his interests. And, so, you know, while I normally would answer that by saying, 'Steve, of course we have the rule of law, that could never happen in America,' I wonder what could happen. I still don't think it&rsquo;s going to happen in America, but I have to admit, that things are, things are strange and they're happening.</p> </blockquote> <p>Kobach is hardly a fringe figure. He was <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/kris-kobach-anti-immigration-laws-sb-1070" target="_blank">the architect</a> of the self-deportation strategy at the core some of the nation's harshest immigration laws.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Immigration Top Stories Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:25:14 +0000 265271 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Obama Announce His Immigration Executive Action Right Here http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/watch-obama-executive-action-immigration-speech <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/aAst5BHtDpA" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>While you're waiting for the speech to start, read about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/obama-executive-action-immigration-reform" target="_blank">three expected takeaways</a> from President Obama's executive action on immigration, or about how some prominent conservatives are already calling for <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/obama-executive-order-immigration-republican-impeachment" target="_blank">his impeachment</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo Immigration Obama Top Stories Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:46:47 +0000 265201 at http://www.motherjones.com Al Franken Questions Uber Over Privacy http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/al-franken-uber-travis-kalanick <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Minnesota Sen. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/al-franken-minnesota-senate-model-progressive-campaign" target="_blank">Al Franken</a> has taken a keen interest in tech policy since coming to Congress. As chairman of a Senate subcommittee that focuses on privacy, technology, and the law, Franken has been one of the more <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2014/11/16/3592811/al-franken-ted-cruz-wrong-net-neutrality/" target="_blank">vocal advocates</a> for net neutrality, <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/technology/203431-franken-blasts-comcast-merger" target="_blank">fought against</a> a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner, and <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/20/al-franken-is-worried-the-new-iphone-fingerprint-scanner-might-be-a-privacy-menace/" target="_blank">wondered about the privacy implications</a> of fingerprint scanners on iPhones.</p> <p>Now Franken has set his sights on Uber, an on-demand car service that uses smartphone technology to match passengers who need rides with available drivers. On Wednesday, Franken <a href="https://www.franken.senate.gov/?p=press_release&amp;id=2986" target="_blank">wrote a letter</a> to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick posing a series of questions about how the company handles its users' information and how it plans to treat journalists.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2014/11/al-franken-uber-travis-kalanick"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Congress Tech Top Stories Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:46:14 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 265151 at http://www.motherjones.com Jim Webb Wanted to Punch George W. Bush. Now He Wants His Old Job. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/jim-webb-hillary-clinton-exploratory-committee <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Jim Webb is running for president. The former secretary of the Navy and Virginia senator launched a presidential exploratory committee on Thursday, becoming the first Democrat to formally dip his toe in the 2016 waters. Webb explained his candidacy <a href="http://webb2016.com/" target="_blank">in a video</a> that looks like it was filmed by the people who make commercials for personal-injury attorneys:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oV3RnBaXIlk" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>A Republican for most of his life, Webb endeared himself to Democrats when he switched parties and beat incumbent GOP <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/05/george-allen-macaca-gop-comeback" target="_blank">Sen. George Allen</a> in 2006 by just a few thousand votes. Webb ran that campaign on an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2006/09/jim-webbs-2002-op-ed-against-invading-iraq" target="_blank">anti-Iraq War message</a>, touting his own experience in Vietnam, but may have been pushed across the finish line by Allen, who called a Democratic volunteer "Macaca" (an obscure North African racial slur) at a campaign event.</p> <p>As a senator he was a bit of an iconoclast, defined mostly by his disdain for Washington (something most senators espouse but rarely act on). His first meeting with President George W. Bush ended with the senator walking away furiously, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/28/AR2006112801582.html" target="_blank">reportedly</a> on the verge of throwing a punch, after Dubya asked Webb about his son serving in Iraq. He sought to carve out a niche for himself by working for criminal justice reform, but left office before any political momentum developed on the issue. And then he left, after one term, leaving Democrats to defend a purple seat against Allen. His most impressive resume item may be his <a href="http://projects.militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=4226" target="_blank">Navy Cross citation</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex which appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade which detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search which yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker.</p> </blockquote> <p>Webb has at least a few bumps to smooth over, though. He <a href="http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0608/10994.html" target="_blank">defended</a> the Confederate flag and "the venerable Robert E. Lee" in his book <em>Born Fighting</em>, about the Scots-Irish, and in 1979, he wrote an essay for <em>Washingtonian </em>titled "Why Women Can't Fight"&mdash;a spirited case against admitting women into service academies. As a senator from a major coal-producing state, he opposed proposals to combat climate change. And only last month expressed his <a href="http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/state-regional/virginia-politics/webb-on-meet-the-press-discusses-same-sex-marriage-foreign/article_645387e4-eab5-5250-af39-ca4a9e8470c3.html" target="_blank">support</a> for same-sex marriage. Beating an entrenched Republican in Virginia as a centrist in 2006 is one thing&mdash;but winning a Democratic presidential nomination requires winning Democratic primary voters.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Top Stories Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:44:54 +0000 Tim Murphy 265156 at http://www.motherjones.com Exclusive: Jay Leno Cancels Performance at Gun Lobby Trade Show Following Pressure from Newtown Group http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/jay-leno-newtown-gun-lobby-trade-show <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><em><strong>Update, 7:10 p.m. ET:</strong> Late Wednesday, Jay Leno said in a brief phone interview that he had called the National Shooting Sports Foundation to cancel his scheduled performance at the SHOT Show. He also said that he'd spoken with Po Murray of the Newtown Action Alliance to let her know. "I understand it's Newtown, and of course I get it," Leno told </em>Mother Jones<em>. "It's just sometimes, mistakes get made." (Read the original story below):</em></p> <p>Gun control advocates aren't laughing about Jay Leno's next move.</p> <p>On Tuesday, several gun violence-prevention groups called on the comedian to cancel his appearance at January's Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT), an annual event put on by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which is based in Newtown, Connecticut. A <a href="http://csgv.org/action/tell-jay-leno-cancel-appearance-2015-shot-show/" target="_blank">petition</a> posted by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence accuses Leno of "helping to legitimize a crass commercialism which values profit over human lives" by speaking to this group, which lobbied against the background checks bill in Congress following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. The drive is backed by the Campaign to Unload, which pushes for divestment from gun companies, and the Newtown Action Alliance, founded by residents of the Connecticut town who support gun-safety legislation. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/07/moms-demand-action-guns-madd-shannon-watts-nra" target="_blank">pushed corporate restaurants and retailers</a> to take a stand against open-carry activists in their stores, has also launched a social media <a href="http://momsdemandaction.org/ft/jokesonleno/" target="_blank">campaign</a> against Leno.</p> <p>"I'm not sure if Jay Leno has done his research and understands that NSSF is the corporate gun lobby and they spend a significant amount of money to lobby congressional leaders to not pass significant gun reform legislation," says Newtown Action Alliance chairman Po Murray, whose children previously attended Sandy Hook. "It's a disheartening as a Newtown resident to see him make this appearance at the SHOT Show. So we're urging him to cancel his appearance."</p> <p>Seats for the event, held at the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, go for <a href="http://shotshow.org/state-industry-dinner/" target="_blank">$135 apiece</a>. Leno's publicist did not respond to a request for comment.</p></body></html> MoJo Guns Media Top Stories Wed, 19 Nov 2014 20:03:41 +0000 Tim Murphy 265046 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren to Banks: Prove You Can Protect Customer Data From Hackers http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/elizabeth-warren-elijah-cummings-cybersecurity <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Elizabeth Warren is off to a running start in her new leadership role with the Senate Democratic caucus. She <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/elizabeth-warren-walmart-black-friday-protest" target="_blank">called out Walmart</a> for its terrible labor practices. She <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/elizabeth-warren-and-joe-manchin-the-fed-needs-governors-who-arent-wall-street-insiders-1416269808" target="_blank">wrote an op-ed this week</a> warning the president against appointing Wall Street insiders to the Federal Reserve. And Tuesday morning, she <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/18/us-usa-congress-cybersecurity-idUSKCN0J21HB20141118?feedType=RSS&amp;feedName=topNews" target="_blank">called on financial institutions</a> to prove that they can protect customer data from cybercriminals.</p> <p>Over the past year, cyber attackers have stolen roughly <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/20/secret-service-fbi-hack-cybersecuurity/17615029/" target="_blank">500 million records</a> from financial institutions, according to federal law enforcement officials. In a joint letter also signed by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Warren asked 16 firms&mdash;including Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley&mdash;for detailed information about cyberattacks they experienced over the past year and how they plan to prevent future breaches.</p> <p>"The increasing number of cyberattacks and data breaches is unprecedented and poses a clear and present danger to our nation&rsquo;s economic security," the lawmakers wrote in the letter. "Each successive cyberattack and data breach not only results in hefty costs and liabilities for businesses, but exposes consumers to identity theft and other fraud, as well as a host of other cyber-crimes."</p> <p>Warren and Cummings requested the firms provide information on the number of customers that may have been affected by breaches, data security measures the companies have taken in response, the value of the fraudulent transactions connected with the cyber attacks, and who is suspected to have carried them out. The letters also request that IT security officers at each firm brief the lawmakers on how they are protecting their data from cybervillains.</p> <p>The lawmakers hope to use the information the firms provide to inform new federal cybersecurity legislation. Current cybersecurity law is <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/224484-lawmakers-target-banks-for-hacking-details" target="_blank">unclear</a> about when companies are required to notify the government about a data hack. Warren has previously <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/224484-lawmakers-target-banks-for-hacking-details" target="_blank">called on Congress</a> to give the Federal Trade Commission more power to regulate data breaches.</p> <p>The American financial sector is one of the most targeted in the world, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/10/20/secret-service-fbi-hack-cybersecuurity/17615029/" target="_blank">according</a> to the FBI and Secret Service officials. The hackers who stole data from JPMorgan Chase earlier this year&mdash;compromising information from 76 million households&mdash;also targeted 13 other financial institutions, <em>Bloomberg</em> <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-09/jpmorgan-hackers-said-to-probe-13-financial-firms.html" target="_blank">reported</a> last month.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Corporations Tech Top Stories Wed, 19 Nov 2014 11:15:05 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 264956 at http://www.motherjones.com Backstabbing in Hillaryland: Here We Go Again http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/hillary-clinton-robby-mook-marlon-marshall <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>We've seen this movie before, and it doesn't end well.</p> <p>On Friday, ABC News <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/exclusive-read-secret-emails-men-run-hillary-clintons/story?id=26898758&amp;singlePage=true" target="_blank">published a story</a> about a email listserv maintained by two Democratic operatives: Robby Mook, a former Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton campaign aide, and Marlon Marshall, an Obama White House staffer. The story's title&mdash;"EXCLUSIVE: Read the Secret Emails of the Men Who May Run Hillary Clinton's Campaign"&mdash;promised a juicy expos&eacute;. In reality, the substance of what members posted on this 150-member "secret" listserv, dubbed the "Mook Mafia," was far from explosive. The phrases "smite Republicans mafia-style" and "punish those voters" read badly out of context. But then, who hasn't dashed off a snarky email to friends that you wished you could take back and touch up a little?</p> <p>The real news isn't that Mook and Marshall had a listserv for fellow Democratic operatives. It's that someone on the listserv leaked its contents in an effort to hurt Mook's chances of becoming the manager of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. In other words, the Clinton '16 effort has yet to officially launch and already the backstabbing and infighting has begun.</p> <p>It's shades of Hillary '08 all over again.</p> <p>Internal battles notoriously plagued Clinton's first presidential run. A <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/05/AR2008030503621.html"><em>Washington Post</em> story in March 2008</a>&nbsp;described the "combustible environment within the Clinton campaign, an operation where internal strife and warring camps have undercut a candidate once seemingly destined for the Democratic nomination."</p> <p>The story went on:</p> <blockquote> <p>Many of her advisers are waging a two-front war, one against Sen. Barack Obama and the second against one another, but their most pressing challenge is figuring out why Clinton won in Ohio and Texas and trying to duplicate it. While [chief strategist Mark] Penn sees his strategy as a reason for the victories that have kept her candidacy alive, other advisers attribute the wins to her perseverance, favorable demographics, and a new campaign manager. Clinton won "despite us, not because of us," one said.</p> </blockquote> <p>The <em>Post</em> published this story after Clinton had <em>won</em> the crucial Ohio and Texas primaries. That is, even in victory, the Clinton camp was divided, its top aides in conflict with one another.</p> <p>In response to the <em>Post</em> story, Clinton adviser Bob Barnett wrote an email that was <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/09/the-front-runner-s-fall/306944/?single_page=true">later published by <em>The</em> <em>Atlantic</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>STOP IT!!!! I have [held] my tongue for weeks. After this morning's WP story, no longer. This makes me sick. This circular firing squad that is occurring is unattractive, unprofessional, unconscionable, and unacceptable&hellip;It must stop.</p> </blockquote> <p>Neither Mark Penn nor Clinton's first choice of campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, lasted the entire campaign. Penn left the campaign after the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> <a href="http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/040408PennClinton.doc">reported</a> that he had lobbied in support of a trade deal with Colombia that Clinton opposed. Solis Doyle was once so close to Clinton that she liked to say, "When I speak, Hillary is speaking." But by the time of her firing, Solis Doyle and Clinton were on such bad terms that Clinton let her go <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/29/AR2008072902451.html?sub=AR" target="_blank">by email</a>.</p> <p>Even after Penn's departure, as the <em>Atlantic</em> story illustrated, the acrimony continued:</p> <blockquote> <p>Geoff Garin, the new leader, soon encountered the old problems. Obama remained the front-runner, and Clinton's communications staff disagreed on how to turn back the tide of tough stories. Garin was appalled at the open feuding and leaking. "I don't mean to be an asshole," he wrote in an e-mail to the senior staff. "But&hellip;Senator Clinton has given Howard Wolfson both the responsibility and the authority to make final decisions about how this campaign delivers its message." On the strategic front, Garin sided with the coalition opposed to Penn's call to confront Obama, and he had numbers to support his reasoning. Polls showed that a majority of voters now distrusted Clinton.</p> </blockquote> <p>The strategic leaking of Mook's and Marshall's listserv emails wouldn't have been at all out of place during Clinton's '08 campaign, as her aides bickered and backstabbed their way to defeat against a more cohesive&mdash;or at least functional&mdash;Obama campaign.</p> <p>Over the past few years, I have interviewed a number of folks who have worked on various campaigns with Mook, dating back to Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid. I heard nothing but admiration and respect for someone routinely described to me as a smart and honest operative who kept his head down and disliked publicity. He and Obama organizing guru Jeremy Bird helped create Dean's pioneering volunteer-powered ground game in New Hampshire&mdash;a model Mook took with him to Clinton's '08 bid and Bird applied to Obama's first presidential run. And in 2013, Mook, using part of the Obama playbook, helped longtime Democratic fundraiser Terry McAuliffe win a tough fight for governor in Virginia. This victory, which impressed the Democratic political class, got people talking about Mook helming a Clinton campaign. But obviously not everyone is keen on that.</p> <p>It's not known who was behind the Mook email dump. But for Democrats this prankish move raises a troubling question: Is it possible to avoid conflict within Hillaryland? In 2008, Clinton demonstrated she could not head a cohesive, effective, and drama-free operation. Democrats who yearn for her to do better this time might be forgiven for looking at this episode and wondering, here we go again?</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Hillary Clinton Top Stories Tue, 18 Nov 2014 11:00:09 +0000 Andy Kroll 264841 at http://www.motherjones.com Elizabeth Warren's Next Target: Walmart http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/elizabeth-warren-walmart-black-friday-protest <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has it out for Walmart. On Tuesday, the freshman senator will hold an event on Capitol Hill calling out the retail giant for its low wages and terrible employment practices. The briefing will be held a week ahead of the nationwide anti-Walmart protests planned for Black Friday.</p> <p>Warren will be joined by Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.); members of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/our-walmart-black-friday-union" target="_blank">OUR Walmart</a>, a union-backed group helping organize Walmart workers; and representatives from other labor groups. Warren and her colleagues also plan to discuss legislation that could help Walmart employees and other low-wage workers around the country, including measures that would <a href="http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com/pages/fair-minimum-wage-act-of-2013" target="_blank">raise the federal minimum wage</a> to $10.10 an hour, forbid <a href="http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/press-release/miller-harkin-warren-delauro-introduce-legislation-establish-fair-work-scheduling" target="_blank">unpredictable irregular work schedules</a> for part-time workers, and <a href="https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/84" target="_blank">help prevent employers from retaliating</a> against workers who share wage information.</p> <p>Roughly <a href="http://www.demos.org/publication/higher-wage-possible-walmart-2014-update" target="_blank">825,000</a> of Walmart's hourly store employees earn less than $25,000 a year. About <a href="http://www.fayobserver.com/news/business/wal-mart-to-trim-health-care-benefits-for-part-time/article_1590fc80-a4cf-5ed1-87f6-ddf1f0184edc.html" target="_blank">600,000 Walmart workers</a> are part-time, and many <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/our-walmart-black-friday-union" target="_blank">rely on food stamps and Medicaid</a>. Walmart, the largest private employer in the US, <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/wal-mart-black-friday-protests-2014-11" target="_blank">says its average full-time hourly wage is $12.83</a>, though OUR Walmart has calculated it as <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com.au/wal-mart-black-friday-protests-2014-11" target="_blank">closer to $9 an hour</a>.</p> <p>Walmart has retaliated against employees who have protested these low wages. In January, the National Labor Relations Board <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nlrb-says-walmart-retaliated-against-workers/" target="_blank">ruled</a> that the company illegally fired, threatened, or disciplined more than 60 workers in 14 states for publicly complaining about wages and working conditions.</p> <p>OUR Walmart is <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/14/us-walmart-labor-idUSKCN0IY1RU20141114" target="_blank">planning</a> on holding a wave of protests at 1,600 Walmart stores the day after Thanksgiving to call for a $15 minimum wage and more opportunities for full-time hours. Last year, the group held demonstrations at more than 1,200 stores.</p> <p>"The Walmart economy&mdash;a business model where a few profit significantly on the backs of the working poor and a diminishing middle class&mdash;perpetuates the income inequality problems that are devastating our country," OUR Walmart and the United Food and Commercial Workers union said in a statement Monday.</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Corporations Economy Mon, 17 Nov 2014 22:22:02 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 264901 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for November 17, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/were-still-war-photo-day-november-17-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>Light armored vehicles fire on targets during a training mission. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1416253764738_1539">(US Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Jonathan R. Waldman)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Mon, 17 Nov 2014 19:57:39 +0000 264911 at http://www.motherjones.com 1 in Every 30 US Children Is Homeless http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/child-homelessness <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The number of homeless children in America reached nearly 2.5 million last year, an all-time high, according to a <a href="http://new.homelesschildrenamerica.org/mediadocs/280.pdf" target="_blank">new report</a> released by the National Center on Family Homelessness.</p> <p>The report, titled "America's Youngest Outcasts" and published Monday, concluded the current population amounts to 1 child out of every 30 experiencing homelessness. From 2012 to 2013, the number of homeless children jumped by 8 percent nationally, with 13 states and the District of Columbia seeing a spike of 10 percent or more.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/homelessreport.jpg" style="height: 462px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">National Center on Family Homelessness</div> </div> <p><span class="entry-content">"The same level of attention and resources has not been targeted to help families and children," co-author of the report and director of the center Carmela DeCandia told the <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOMELESS_CHILDREN?SITE=AP&amp;SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&amp;CTIME=2014-11-17-00-37-34" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>. "As a society, we're going to pay a high price, in human and economic terms."</span></p> <p><span class="entry-content">Researchers behind the study cited several major drivers behind the recent surge including high poverty levels, </span>insufficient affordable housing across the country, and <span class="entry-content">traumatic stress experienced by mothers.</span> Different <a href="http://usich.gov/issue/trauma_informed_care" target="_blank">reports</a> have cited 90 percent of homeless mothers have been assaulted by their partners, with children overwhelmingly exposed to similar acts of violence.</p> <p>According to Monday's report, youth homelessness is particularly problematic in some parts of the South, Southwest, and California:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/maphomeless.jpg" style="height: 269px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">National Center on Family Homelessness</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Mon, 17 Nov 2014 16:07:59 +0000 Inae Oh 264881 at http://www.motherjones.com 3 Ways Obama's Immigration Executive Action Changes Everything (and One Way It Doesn't) http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/obama-executive-action-immigration-reform <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The details of President Barack Obama's much-rumored, much-debated executive action on immigration have been leaked to the press, and the broad outline, according to <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/13/source-obama-to-announce-10-point-immigration-plan-via-exec-action-as-early-as/" target="_blank">Fox News</a> and the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/us/obama-immigration.html?_r=0" target="_blank"><em>New York Times</em></a>, includes deportation relief for upward of 5 million people.</p> <p>Republicans are already <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/finance/223989-effort-to-block-immigration-action-gains-momentum" target="_blank">lining up to block</a> the White House's plans, and Obama's successor could go ahead and reverse course in 2017, anyway. Still, here are three reported provisions that could have a dramatic impact on the lives of the United States' 11 million undocumented immigrants:</p> <p><strong>1. Expansion of DACA, the program for DREAMers:</strong> Back in 2012, a Department of Homeland Security directive known as <a href="http://www.dhs.gov/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals" target="_blank">Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals</a> (DACA) extended deportation relief to those young immigrants who came to the United States before their 16th birthday and went on to graduate from high school or serve in the US military. As <em>Vox</em>'s Dara Lind <a href="http://www.vox.com/2014/8/18/5999601/deferred-action-obama-immigration-daca" target="_blank">has reported</a>, the program has been a success for the roughly 600,000 immigrants who received deferred action by June 2014, although just as many are eligible but haven't yet applied. According to the Fox News report, Obama's executive action would move the cutoff arrival date from June 2007 to January 1, 2010, and remove the age limit (31 as of June '12); a new <a href="http://migrationpolicy.org/news/mpi-many-37-million-unauthorized-immigrants-could-get-relief-deportation-under-anticipated-new" target="_blank">Migration Policy Institute </a>(MPI) report details how changes to the initial plan could make hundreds of thousands of immigrants DACA-eligible:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/ExecAct-Table1-PNG.PNG"><div class="caption">Migration Policy Institute, 2014</div> </div> <p><strong>2. Relief for the undocumented parents of US citizen children:</strong> According to the <em>Times</em>, a key part of the executive action "will allow many parents of children who are American citizens or legal residents to obtain legal work documents and no longer worry about being discovered, separated from their families and sent away," a move that would legalize anywhere from 2.5-3.3 million people. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/25/parents-deportation_n_5531552.html" target="_blank"><em>Huffington Post</em></a><em> </em>reported in June that more than 72,000 parents of US-born children were deported in fiscal year 2013 alone; of those, nearly 11,000 had no criminal convictions. (One 2013 report <a href="http://www.familyunityfamilyhealth.org/uploads/images/FamilyUnityFamilyHealth.pdf" target="_blank">estimated</a> that 4.5 million US-born kids have at least one undocumented parent.)</p> <p><strong>3. Elimination of mandatory fingerprinting program:</strong> Under Secure Communities, or <a href="http://www.ice.gov/secure-communities" target="_blank">S-Comm</a>, immigrants booked into local jails have their fingerprints run through a Homeland Security database to check their legal status. (If they're unauthorized, they can be held by local authorities until the feds come pick them up.) The program, which began under President George W. Bush and was greatly expanded under Obama, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/10/secure-communities-latinos-wrongful-arrests" target="_blank">has long come under fire</a> for quickly pushing people toward detention and potential deportation, as well as for contributing to racial profiling and even the detention of thousands of US citizens. According to one 2013 report, S-Comm led to the deportation of more than 300,000 immigrants from fiscal years 2009 to 2013.</p> <p>There are other reported parts to Obama's plan, including hundreds of thousands of new tech visas and even pay raises for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Still, given <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/child-migrants-surge-unaccompanied-central-america" target="_blank">this year's border crisis</a>, it's notable that the president's plan seems to make little to no mention of the folks who provoked it: the unaccompanied children and so-called "family units" (often mothers traveling with small kids) who came in huge numbers from Central America and claimed, in many cases, to be fleeing violence of some sort.</p> <p>The administration has been particularly adamant about <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/06/us/seeking-to-stop-migrants-from-risking-trip-us-speeds-the-path-to-deportation-for-families.html" target="_blank">fast-tracking the deportation</a> of those family unit apprehensions, whose numbers jumped from 14,855 in fiscal 2013 to 68,445 in fiscal 2014, a <a href="http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/southwest-border-unaccompanied-children" target="_blank">361 percent increase</a>. Meanwhile, ICE has renewed the controversial practice of <a href="http://womensrefugeecommission.org/resources/document/1085-locking-up-family-values-again" target="_blank">family detention</a> (a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/sex-immigrant-detention-_n_5924110.html" target="_blank">complaint</a> has already been filed regarding sexual abuse in the new Karnes City, Texas, facility) and will soon open the largest immigration detention facility in the country, a 2,400-bed family center in Dilley, Texas&mdash;just as Obama starts rolling out what many immigration hardliners will no doubt attack as an unconstitutional amnesty.</p> <p><em>This post has been updated.</em></p></body></html> MoJo Immigration Obama Top Stories Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:19:59 +0000 Ian Gordon 264746 at http://www.motherjones.com These 7 Conservatives Would Impeach Obama Over Immigration http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/obama-executive-order-immigration-republican-impeachment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>As early as next week, President Barack Obama is <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/14/us/obama-immigration.html" target="_blank">expected to issue</a> an executive order that would allow as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay in the country without facing deportation. Not unexpectedly, Republicans are outraged, and some have hinted that the only way to stop the plan is impeachment. Here are seven conservative politicians and pundits who have preemptively dropped the I-word in response to Obama's rumored immigration policy:</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/08/Exclusive-Sarah-Palin-Time-to-Impeach-President-Obama" target="_blank">Sarah Palin</a>:</strong> "Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president. His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, 'no mas.'"</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.westernjournalism.com/gop-rep-says-white-house-protests-impeachment-among-possible-reponses-amnesty/" target="_blank">Rep. Steve King</a> (R-Iowa):</strong> "We know there is the 'I' word in the Constitution that none of us want to say or act on&hellip; In this context, everything is on the table. We cannot have a president of the United States that believes that he can make up the law as he goes."</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/07/25/GOP-Special-Immigration-Conference" target="_blank">Rep. Ted Yoho</a> (R-Fla.):</strong> "[Obama] either enforces the laws on the books&mdash;as he was hired and elected to do&mdash;or he leaves Congress no option&hellip; This is not our choice, this is the president's choice and I would advise him to uphold the law on the books."</p> <p><strong><a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/joe-barton-impeach-obama-immigration" target="_blank">Rep. Joe Barton</a> (R-Texas):</strong> "Well, impeachment is indicting in the House and that's a possibility. But you still have to convict in the Senate and that takes a two-thirds vote. But impeachment would be a consideration, yes sir."</p> <p><strong>Fox News legal analyst <a href="http://insider.foxnews.com/2014/11/06/judge-nap-only-option-impeachment-if-obama-declares-immigration-amnesty" target="_blank">Judge Andrew Napolitano</a>:</strong> "If [Obama] tells Homeland Security and Border Patrol, 'Look the other way when illegals come in,' that is violating his oath because it's a failure to enforce the law&hellip; so if the practical effect of his executive order is the opposite of what the law requires, I hate to say this&mdash;Republicans don't want to do it, and I understand why&mdash;he's a candidate for impeachment."</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/dana-rohrabacher-floats-impeaching-obama-over-immigration-reform" target="_blank">Rep. Dana Rohrabacher</a> (R-Calif.):</strong> "We've got three years to get this guy out&hellip; Hopefully he&mdash;well, let me put it this way, I think he probably has been engaged in these unconstitutional approaches that may make his own ability to stay in office a question."</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.salon.com/2014/07/27/rep_steve_stockman_%E2%80%9Cpresident_obama_is_begging_to_be_impeached/" target="_blank">Rep. Steve Stockman</a> (R-Texas):</strong> "For all I know, Obama is preparing to process five million illegal immigrant kids and teenagers into the United States&hellip; He wants us to impeach him now, before the midterm election because his senior advisers believe that is the only chance the Democratic Party has to avoid a major electoral defeat. Evidently Obama believes impeachment could motivate the Democratic Party base to come out and vote."</p> <p><strong>Bonus: <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/michele-bachmann-impeach-obama-cabinet" target="_blank">Rep. Michele Bachmann</a> (R-Minn.) </strong>says she would also move to impeach Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Jonson:<strong> </strong>"I would nominate [impeaching] the head of Homeland Security who will execute the laws on the border."</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Immigration Obama Top Stories Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:12 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 264771 at http://www.motherjones.com Watch Nancy Pelosi Explain Why Questions About Her Stepping Down Are Blatantly Sexist http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/nancy-pelosi-age-sexist%20 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Yet again, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi&nbsp;(D-Calif.) was forced to defend her decision to <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/11/13/nancy-pelosi-just-lectured-us-about-sexism-and-politics/" target="_blank">remain in leadership</a> following the disappointing midterm elections, a position she says she would not have to uphold if it weren't for being a woman.</p> <p>Speaking at her weekly press conference on Thursday, Pelosi schooled reporters with the following:</p> <blockquote> <p>"What I said to the most recent person who asked 'Well you&rsquo;ve lost now three times. Why don&rsquo;t you step aside?' And I said, "What was the day that any of you said to Mitch McConnell, when they lost the Senate three times in a row, lost making progress in taking back the Senate three times in a row, &lsquo;Aren&rsquo;t you getting a little old, Mitch? Shouldn&rsquo;t you step aside?&rsquo; Have you ever asked him that question?"</p> </blockquote> <p>This is far from the first time Pelosi, who at the age of 74 is just two years older than McConnell, has been the target of sexist inquiries from the media. In 2012, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEbkNkjew8k" target="_blank">Luke Russert</a> asked Pelosi the very same question about stepping down to make room for younger leadership, to which Pelosi slammed as "offensive."</p> <p>Pelosi's defense today comes in the the midst of similar jabs aimed at Hillary Clinton, after Rand Paul (R-Ky.) suggested in a <em>Politico</em> interview Clinton may be <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/rands-grand-plan-112729.html" target="_blank">too old</a> to run for president.</p> <p>Watch below:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" scrolling="no" src="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/c/embed/25a6e61e-6b6a-11e4-bafd-6598192a448d" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Video Sex and Gender Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:35:24 +0000 Inae Oh 264741 at http://www.motherjones.com Justice Scalia Goes to Conservative Legal Event, Gives Boring Speech http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/justice-antonin-scalia-federalist-society-supreme-court <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Federalist Society <a href="http://www.fed-soc.org/events/page/2014-national-lawyers-convention-schedule" target="_blank">kicked off its national convention</a> Thursday in Washington, DC, with a speech from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who is one of two justices headlining the event. The other is Justice Samuel Alito, who is on tap for the conservative legal group's big dinner Thursday night.</p> <p>For years, liberal good-government types have been criticizing Scalia and the other conservative justices for participating in Federalist Society functions. The events also serve as fundraisers for the organization, which promotes conservative positions in the nation's ongoing legal debates. Critics contend that the involvement of Scalia et. al. violates various legal ethics codes. In 2011, for instance, Scalia and Justice Clarence Thomas attended the annual dinner associated with the Federalist Society's national convention&mdash;hours after the Supreme Court decided whether to take up the main challenges to the Affordable Care Act. And it just so happened that the law firms representing the Obamacare challengers were sponsors of that dinner and that lawyers from those firms were among the guests rubbing shoulders with Scalia and Thomas.</p> <p>Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, <a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/14/news/la-pn-scalia-thomas-20111114" target="_blank">said at the time</a>, "This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges. The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable."</p> <p>But such complaints have not caused Scalia and his conservative brethren to rethink their cozy relationship with the Federalist Society, and this morning the group could once again boast a big get&mdash;the often fiery justice who is a hero within conservative legal circles. But if any of the conventioneers were hoping for fireworks from Scalia, they were sorely disappointed. Rather than opine on Hobby Lobby and religious freedom or the Affordable Care Act and government overreach, Scalia spent 30 minutes at the dais lecturing on the history of Magna Carta&mdash;"No definite article!" he insisted&mdash;and its influence on American law.</p> <p>Scalia mostly stuck to legal issues from the 13th century. He might well have been a curator from the Library of Congress, <a href="http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/magna-carta-muse-and-mentor/" target="_blank">where the Magna Carta is currently on exhibit</a> (sponsored, incidentally, by the Federalist Society). Scalia ended his speech by urging everyone to go see the 800-year-old document.</p> <p>In years past, the conference has drawn an all-star lineup of firebrand conservative politicians and aspiring presidential candidates: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Republican Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But this year, the only politician of note on the schedule is Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch (R). The rest of the usual suspects are basking in the glow of the GOP's Election Day victories and preparing for their takeover of the Senate. As for Scalia, if attendees want to see him let loose, they might have to wait for his next Supreme Court opinion.</p></body></html> MoJo Supreme Court Top Stories Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:04:14 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 264696 at http://www.motherjones.com US Police Brutality Is Bad. This Giant Western Country's Is Way Worse. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/brazil-police-brutality-kill-6-people-a-day <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The high-profile killings of figures like <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">Ferguson, Missouri's Michael Brown</a> have stirred a national conversation <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/swat-warrior-cops-police-militarization-urban-shield" target="_blank">about police brutality</a> as of late. But it turns out the Americas' second biggest economy struggles with this issue on a much greater scale: Brazil's police killed more than 11,000 civilians between 2008 and 2013; on average, a staggering six people every day. This jaw-dropping number was released today in a <a href="http://www.forumseguranca.org.br/produtos/anuario-brasileiro-de-seguranca-publica/8o-anuario-brasileiro-de-seguranca-publica" target="_blank">Brazilian Public Security Forum</a> (BPSF) report which<strong> </strong>rounds up statistics illuminating the country's struggles with public safety. To put the figure in context, it took police in the United States 30 years to kill the same number of civilians, despite the fact that there are at least 50 percent more people in the US.</p> <p>Sao Paulo in particular has seen an increase in civilian deaths at the hands of the authorities. Between January and September of 2014, officers <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latin-america/sao-paulo-increase-number-people-killed-police-n235726" target="_blank">killed 478 people during confrontations</a>, twice as many victims as during that same period last year. The uptick parallels an increasingly lawless criminal culture, say authorities. "Rather than turn themselves in to the police, criminals prefer to open fire,"&nbsp;Sao Paulo police department's Jose Vicente da Silva <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latin-america/sao-paulo-increase-number-people-killed-police-n235726" target="_blank">told the AP</a>. "That is what is causing the increase."</p> <p>Many of Brazil's police killings happen in the predominately black favelas of Rio de Janeiro, where there's been a heightened military presence, in part to try and pacify the area for the World Cup and 2016 Olympics. Brazilian journalist Juliana Barbassa, who's writing a book on the issues feeding Brazil's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/06/brazil-protest-explainer" target="_blank">massive national protests</a>, described this tension when <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/07/world-cup-protests-dilma-rousseff-juliana-barbassa" target="_blank">she spoke with my colleague Ian Gordon in July</a>. When more police entered Rio's slums, "at the beginning there was this real hope that they could do something," Barbassa said; for one, break up the drug rings controlling the community. But then "you've got military police fully armed, in your community 24/7, regulating things like when you can have parties&mdash;it's not without its serious problems." Barbassa explained that the city has seen some "very ugly cases of abuse of power," including authorities torturing and killing civilians and then hiding the bodies. "To see these things happen, with this freshly trained, specifically chosen group of officers, really helped unravel a little bit the expectations and hopes that people had."</p> <p>While the BPSF report paints a grim portrait of police use of force in Brazil, it also reveals how officers themselves suffer at the hands of the country's rampant violence. While fewer officers died on duty in 2013 than in 2012, many more were killed (from non-natural causes) on their off-hours: In 2013, 369 policemen perished while off-duty, compared to 191 just two years earlier. BPSF researchers note that it's tricky to pinpoint exactly why officers are being targeted outside of work, but in some parts of the country, killing a cop is a gang rite of passage.</p> <p>"Unfortunately, we are a country where police kill more and die more," BPSF's researchers write. They later conclude: "Death should be understood as taboo, and not an acceptable outcome of security policy."</p></body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Crime and Justice International Race and Ethnicity Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:34:01 +0000 Maddie Oatman 264626 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for November 12, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/were-still-war-photo-day-november-12-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Army soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas pose for a photo with the Prime Minister of Estonia as a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1415819950094_1361">(US Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ray Boyington)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Military Wed, 12 Nov 2014 19:24:41 +0000 264621 at http://www.motherjones.com The Richest 0.1 Percent Is About to Control More Wealth Than the Bottom 90 Percent http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/income-inequality-rise-1-percent <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>While a complex web of factors have contributed to the rise in income inequality in America, a new research <a href="http://eml.berkeley.edu/~saez/saez-zucmanNBER14wealth.pdf" target="_blank">paper</a> says most of the blame can be largely placed in the immense growth experienced by the top tenth of the richest 1 percent of Americans in recent years. From the report:</p> <blockquote>The rise of wealth inequality is almost entirely due to the rise of the top 0.1% wealth share, from 7% in 1979 to 22% in 2012, a level almost as high as in 1929. The bottom 90% wealth share first increased up to the mid-1980s and then steadily declined. The increase in wealth concentration is due to the surge of top incomes combined with an increase in saving rate inequality.</blockquote> <p>So, who are the 0.1 percent among us? According to Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, the paper's researchers, the elite group is a small one, roughly composed of 160,000 families with assets exceeding $20 million, but their grip on America's wealth distribution is about to surpass the bottom 90 percent for the first time in more than half a century.&nbsp; Today's 0.1 percent also tend to be younger than the top incomers of the 1960's, despite the fact the country as a whole has been living longer&mdash;proving once again, that there has truly <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/09/income-inequality-historic-rome-one-percent" target="_blank">never been a more opportune time to be rich in America:</a></p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="rise of the megarich" class="image" src="https://www.motherjones.com/files/income_richmegarich-wm.jpg"></div></body></html> MoJo Charts Income Inequality Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:50:53 +0000 Inae Oh 264501 at http://www.motherjones.com Tennessee Voters Just Made It Easier to Restrict Abortion—And the GOP Isn't Wasting Any Time. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/tennessee-gop-new-abortion-restrictions-amendment-1 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For years, as lawmakers in other conservative states passed onerous restrictions designed to limit abortion access, deep-red Tennessee stood out as an exception&mdash;because the state's constitution forbade many of the harshest anti-abortion measures.</p> <p>But that changed on Election Day. Last week, 53 percent of Tennessee voters approved Amendment 1&mdash;a change to the state's constitution that will allow lawmakers to pass a slew of new abortion restrictions. And Republicans, led by Beth Harwell, the speaker of the state house of representatives, are already working on <a href="http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2014/11/05/abortion-waiting-period-likely-amendment-passage/18566591/" target="_blank">three abortion restrictions</a> to debate in 2015: One measure would set up a mandatory waiting period between a woman's first visit to an abortion clinic and the time of the procedure. A second would force women to undergo mandatory counseling, known as informed consent, before an abortion. And a third would add new, unspecified inspection requirements for abortion facilities.</p> <p>As I <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/tennessee-amendment-1-abortion-rights-planned-parenthood" target="_blank">reported</a> in September, Amendment 1 was aimed at overturning a 2000 court decision that struck down a 48-hour waiting period, an "informed consent" law, and a requirement that all second-trimester abortions be performed in a hospital. Amendment 1 reads: "Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion," including for pregnancies "resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother."</p> <p>Supporters of Amendment 1 argued that the new language was necessary because Tennessee was barred from inspecting abortion clinics. (In fact, the Tennessee Department of Health <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/tennessee-amendment-1-abortion-rights-planned-parenthood" target="_blank">inspected several of the state's clinics</a> within the past year before renewing their licenses.)</p> <p>Amendment 1 detractors, on the other hand, warned that the measure was actually aimed at using strict new regulations to close some of Tennessee's seven abortion clinics. This tactic is popular with Tennessee's neighbors. It's part of why nearly <a href="http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/health/2014/02/18/tennessee-abortion-numbers-drop-in-past-decade/5572875/" target="_blank">1 in 4 women</a> who receive an abortion in Tennessee live in another state, such as Alabama and Mississippi, where highly restrictive abortion laws have closed all but a handful of abortion providers.</p> <p>Abortion rights advocates also worried that the amendment would allow abortion opponents to spread misinformation about abortion through an informed consent law; South Dakota, for example, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/07/south-dakota-will-require-doctors-give-dubious-abortion-advice">compels doctors to tell women</a> that abortion can lead to an increased risk of suicide&mdash;an assertion that mainstream medical organizations say is false. All told, both camps poured <a href="http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20141108/INFO/311089935/tenn-lawmakers-readying-new-abortion-restrictions" target="_blank">$5.5 million</a> into the fight over Amendment 1.</p> <p>It's not as though Tennessee was abortion-friendly to begin with. Before Amendment 1 came along, Tennessee <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/tennessee-amendment-1-abortion-rights-planned-parenthood" target="_blank">passed anti-abortion laws</a> that limited insurance coverage for abortion, outlawed the abortion pill, and caused two abortion clinics to close because they could not gain admitting privileges with local hospitals.</p> <p>The real danger of Amendment 1 is that the measure "will basically just open the floodgates for the General Assembly to pass any kind of restriction if the amendment passes,"&nbsp;Jeff Teague, the president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, said in the run-up to the election. "We think they probably have a long list of things they're going to pass."</p> <p>Turns out he was spot-on.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Reproductive Rights The Right Top Stories Tue, 11 Nov 2014 15:15:59 +0000 Molly Redden 264446 at http://www.motherjones.com Obama Just Announced His Full Support to Preserve Net Neutrality http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/obama-net-neutrality <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a move strongly backing net neutrality regulations, President Barack Obama <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/net-neutrality" target="_blank">announced</a> his plan to reclassify the internet as a utility in order to preserve the web's "basic principles of openness and fairness."</p> <blockquote> <p>Net neutrality has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation &mdash; but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.</p> </blockquote> <p>In the announcement, Obama urged the FCC to implement four "common-sense steps" to help protect net neutrality, including increased transparency and the prohibition of paid-priority gatekeeping by internet service providers.</p> <p>The decision, however, remains up to the FCC, which has thus far <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/05/charts-why-fcc-ditching-net-neutrality" target="_blank">proposed</a> new changes to allow content providers to pay cable companies for so-called "fast lanes" of service. Net neutrality advocates say the proposed rules are a threat limiting access to the open internet.</p> <p><span id="articleText">"Simply put: No service should be stuck in a 'slow lane' because it does not pay a fee," Obama said in the Monday morning statement. "That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet&rsquo;s growth." </span></p> <p>Unsurprisingly, the GOP is not happy with the president's plan:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p>"Net Neutrality" is Obamacare for the Internet; the Internet should not operate at the speed of government.</p> &mdash; Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/531834493922189313">November 10, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>Watch Obama's announcement in full below:</strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/uKcjQPVwfDk" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo Obama Top Stories Mon, 10 Nov 2014 16:05:29 +0000 Inae Oh 264421 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for November 10, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/were-still-war-photo-day-november-10-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p class="rtecenter"><em>US Marines patch up holes after close-range shooting practice. <span class="meta-field photo-desc " id="yui_3_16_0_1_1415629613602_1492">(US Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Timothy Parish)</span></em></p></body></html> MoJo Mother Jones Mon, 10 Nov 2014 14:30:33 +0000 264411 at http://www.motherjones.com Why Rand Paul Was the Only Kentucky Republican to Lose on Tuesday http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/11/rand-paul-senate-presidential-2016 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Republicans had a pretty good night last Tuesday. They won control of the Senate and added to their already-sizable House majority. They now hold 33 governors' mansions and 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers. But even as they solidified their grip on state governments, they came up short in one red state they'd trained their sights on&mdash;Kentucky. And that's bad news for Sen. Rand Paul.</p> <p>While the national GOP's resources primarily targeted the state's Senate race, Paul focused his attention on winning control of the Democratic-controlled Legislature in Frankfort. His reasons went beyond mere party loyalty&mdash;he wanted a GOP statehouse majority to pass a bill, <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/17/dead-for-now-kentucky-bill-allowing-twin-paul-2016-runs/" target="_blank">written with him in mind</a>, that would allow a politician to run for Senate and president in the same year. He's up for reelection in 2016, and is also seriously considering a White House bid. But given the depth of the GOP presidential field that year, he doesn't want to bet the house on winning the nomination.</p> <p>For Paul, a.k.a. <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/rand-paul-best-dressed-man-washington" target="_blank">the best-dressed man in Washington</a>, this is hardly a deal-breaker. He got some good news on Wednesday, when Sen. Mitch McConnell, whom Paul dutifully backed in the face of a tea party primary challenge, all but <a href="http://hotair.com/archives/2014/11/07/first-major-endorsement-of-2016-mitch-mcconnell-backing-rand-paul-for-president/" target="_blank">endorsed</a> his presidential bid. And if Paul were to drop out of the race early (say, in the face of an unstoppable Mitt Romney wave), there'd be plenty of time to get back into Senate reelection mode. But the longer he stays in the hunt, the more difficult things will become on the home front.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Top Stories Rand Paul Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:00:40 +0000 Tim Murphy 264256 at http://www.motherjones.com