Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013/12/rss/authors/231116 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Marco Rubio Uses Cecil the Lion to Shame Planned Parenthood Supporters http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/marco-rubio-cecil-lion-planned-parenthood <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today, Marco Rubio couldn't resist attempting to conflate two recent controversies&mdash;an <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/07/walter-palmer-cecil-lion-hunt" target="_blank">American dentist's admission</a> he killed Cecil the lion and a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained" target="_blank">sting operation</a> currently targeting Planned Parenthood&mdash;for the following take:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Look at all this outrage over a dead lion, but where is all the outrage over the planned parenthood dead babies.</p> &mdash; Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) <a href="https://twitter.com/marcorubio/status/626454765275361281">July 29, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>The tweet, aside from demonstrating a clear lack of grammar skills, mirrors similar statements from the likes of <a href="http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2015/07/29/we_cry_over_the_death_of_cecil_the_lion_but_shrug_off_planned_parenthood" target="_blank">Rush Limbaugh</a> asserting the same blend of crazy. Rubio should probably lay off of Twitter and get back to actually <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/marco-rubio-2016-job-senator-absentee-120643.html" target="_blank">doing his job. </a></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Animals Reproductive Rights Wed, 29 Jul 2015 19:16:31 +0000 Inae Oh 280891 at http://www.motherjones.com Michael Bay Made a Movie About Benghazi and It Looks Insane http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/guy-armageddon-made-movie-about-benghazi-and-it-looks-insane <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Anthropomorphic stick of dynamite Michael Bay, the director of <em>The Rock</em>, <em>Armageddon</em>, <em>Bad Boys</em>, <em>Bad Boys II</em>, and four <em>Transformers</em> movies (also <em>Pain and Gain</em>&mdash;don't forget <em>Pain and Gain</em>!), has made a movie about the September 11, 2012, attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.</p> <p>The movie's release date is January 15, 2016&mdash;just in time for the Iowa caucuses.</p> <p>The film, <em>13 Hours</em>, based on a book by the same name, is sure to prompt lots of discussion&mdash;intelligent and otherwise&mdash;on the presidential candidacy of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was in charge of the State Department at the time of the attack. Here's the trailer:</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SqM9eF3vbWM?rel=0" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Foreign Policy Media Military Wed, 29 Jul 2015 14:58:15 +0000 Tim Murphy 280836 at http://www.motherjones.com Mark Cuban Has the Dumbest Reason For Supporting Donald Trump http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/the-lakers-are-the-best-team-in-the-nba <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Mark Cuban is a famous billionaire. He owns the Dallas Mavericks. He also appeared on a <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB8QtwIwAGoVChMIpPqZr8f-xgIVwZYeCh3Jogb6&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DIAp1Jb_p8G4&amp;ei=n9e3VeSuIsGtesnFmtAP&amp;usg=AFQjCNHI5YjDyTbGa2Y6RNFcASmW3bGdcQ&amp;bvm=bv.98717601,d.dmo" target="_blank">few episodes</a> of the terrible TV show <em>Entourage</em>. He apparently is <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/07/28/mark-cuban-summarized-donald-trumps-appeal-in-just-43-words/?postshare=6231438110823464" target="_blank">quite the fan of Donald Trump's presidential campaign</a>!</p> <p>Why, you ask? Let him <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/mark-cuban-donald-trump-best-thing-2015-7#ixzz3hDFRnNlv" target="_blank">explain</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>I don't care what his actual positions are. I don't care if he says the wrong thing. He says what's on his mind. He gives honest answers rather than prepared answers. This is more important than anything any candidate has done in years.</p> </blockquote> <p>He doesn't care what his actual positions are? You can never know what is in a politician's heart. Literally all you can go on are their actions and deeds.</p> <p>This is bad reasoning and Mark Cuban should feel bad.</p></body></html> MoJo Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:36:08 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 280801 at http://www.motherjones.com Getting a Home Loan Is Expensive—Especially for Black Women http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/race-gender-interest-rates-mortgages <!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://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11146-014-9473-0" target="_blank">A recent study</a> in the <em>Journal of Real Estate and Finance Economics</em> finds that black home loan borrowers are charged higher interest rates than their white counterparts&mdash;and that black women pay the highest rates of all. &nbsp;</p> <p>The three finance professors who <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11146-014-9473-0" target="_blank">authored</a> the study analyzed the mortgages and demographic characteristics of more than 3,500 households during the height of the housing boom&mdash;2001, 2004, and 2007&mdash;using the Federal Reserve's triennial <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/scf/scfindex.htm" target="_blank">Survey of Consumer Finances.</a> They found that on average, black borrowers were charged between 0.29 and 0.31 percentage points more in interest than whites, even after controlling for their debt and credit history.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/mortgages%20race-01.png" style="max-width: 630px; float: left;"></div> <p>The racial disparity was most pronounced for subprime borrowers who couldn't qualify for low-interest mortgages (the left side of the chart above), with black borrowers paying interest rates that were at least 0.4 percentage points higher than whites in the same group.</p> <p>Within this group paying the highest interest rates, black women paid the highest rates of all, at an average rate of 7.9 percent. But a statistically significant disparity persisted even among those who paid lower interest rates (the right side of the chart), the study notes. In this group, black borrowers paid interest rates between 0.1 percent and 0.4 percentage points higher than their white counterparts.</p> <p>Over at <em>Quartz</em>,&nbsp;Melvin Backman <a href="http://qz.com/436667/study-black-women-face-racism-and-sexism-in-the-mortgage-market/" target="_blank">explains</a> how these disparities translate into dollars: According to Freddie Mac's <a href="http://calculators.freddiemac.com/response/lf-freddiemac/calc/home02" target="_blank">mortgage cost calculator</a>, a $200,000, 30-year mortgage would cost a black man about $3,000 more than a white man over the course of the loan. A black woman getting the same loan would pay nearly $9,000 more than a white woman.</p> <div class="atlas-chart" data-height="230" data-id="EJbUQEBv" data-width="640">&nbsp;</div> <p>The study adds to a body of research showing that black mortgage applicants are <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/lending-discrimination-black-borrowers-face-higher-hurdles-in-lending-study_n_1300509.html" target="_blank">more likely</a> to be denied credit than white applicants, and are <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/12/23/if-youre-poor-your-mortgage-rate-can-depend-on-the-color-of-your-skin/" target="_blank">more likely</a> to be charged higher interest rates than whites. It also appears to confirm the racial disparities identified in lawsuits against several of America's top mortgage lenders, including <a href="http://www.phillyvoice.com/two-discrimination-lawsuits-wells-fargo-dismissed/" target="_blank">Wells Fargo</a> and <a href="http://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/dojcountrywide-settlement-information" target="_blank">Bank of America's Countrywide</a>, which <a href="http://www.law360.com/articles/661239/provident-pays-9m-to-settle-discriminatory-lending-suit" target="_blank">faced</a> hefty payouts in a slew of discrimination lawsuits following the housing-market crash. The <a href="http://www.epi.org/publication/bp335-boa-countrywide-discriminatory-lending/" target="_blank">lawsuits</a> had even prompted the Obama administration to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/business/wells-fargo-to-settle-mortgage-discrimination-charges.html" target="_blank">set up</a> a new unit in the Department of Justice's civil rights division to deal with the caseload. <script src="http://atlas.qz.com/javascripts/atlas.js"></script></p> <p>But the new study also suggests more granular disparities between black and white borrowers. Among black borrowers, for example, younger homeowners without a college education paid some of the highest interest rates. And among those paying higher interest rates, black women, who already <a href="http://sacobserver.com/2015/04/black-women-face-challenges-in-building-wealth/" target="_blank">face</a> <a href="http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2010/03/closing_the_wealth_gap_between_black_and_white_women.1.html" target="_blank">stiff</a> obstacles to economic mobility, were likely to be charged interest <a href="http://www.mtgprofessor.com/glossary.htm" target="_blank">rate premiums</a> two to three times that of what black men were charged. While they do not speculate about the causes of these racial and gender gaps between borrowers, the authors conclude, "it is the more financially vulnerable black women who suffer the most."</p></body></html> MoJo Charts Economy Race and Ethnicity Top Stories Tue, 28 Jul 2015 10:09:31 +0000 Jaeah Lee 280001 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump's Lawyer: Marital Rape Cannot Be Rape http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trumps-lawyer-marital-rape-cannot-be-rape <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>So Donald Trump used to be married to Ivana Trump. According to an account resurfaced by <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/07/27/ex-wife-donald-trump-made-feel-violated-during-sex.html?via=mobile&amp;source=twitter" target="_blank">Tim Mak and&nbsp;Brandy Zadrozny at the <em>Daily Beast</em></a>, the former Mrs. Trump once used the word "rape" during legal proceedings in connection with an event between her and her ex-husband, the current GOP front-runner:</p> <blockquote> <p>Ivana Trump's assertion of "rape" came in a deposition&mdash;part of the early '90s divorce case between the Trumps, and revealed in the 1993 book <em>Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump</em>.</p> <p>The book, by former <em>Texas Monthly</em> and <em>Newsweek</em> reporter Harry Hurt III, described a harrowing scene.</p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://thebea.st/1MvYVK3" target="_blank"><em>The Daily Beast</em> has the entire "violent assault."</a> It's indeed harrowing. Trump has denied the allegations.</p> <blockquote> <p>"It's obviously false," Donald Trump said of the accusation in 1993, according to <em>Newsday</em>. "It's incorrect and done by a guy without much talent&hellip; He is a guy that is an unattractive guy who is a vindictive and jealous person."</p> </blockquote> <p>It&rsquo;s important to note that this never went to court, Trump never faced any charges, and Ivana Trump herself walked back the allegations before the book in question was published:</p> <blockquote> <p>"As a woman, I felt violated, as the love and tenderness, which he normally exhibited towards me, was absent. I referred to this as a 'rape,' but I do not want my words to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense."</p> </blockquote> <p>This brings us now to Donald Trump's lawyer who <em>The Daily Beast </em>reached out to for comment. He went on a tirade that would make Trump blush:</p> <blockquote> <p>Michael Cohen, special counsel at The Trump Organization, defended his boss, saying, "You're talking about the front-runner for the GOP, presidential candidate, as well as private individual who never raped anybody. And, of course, understand that by the very definition, you can't rape your spouse."</p> <p>"It is true," Cohen added. "You cannot rape your spouse. And there's very clear case law."</p> </blockquote> <p>Realizing perhaps that denying the undeniable criminality of spousal rape was not the best way to kill the story, Cohen switches gears, making things worse:</p> <blockquote> <p>"You write a story that has Mr. Trump's name in it, with the word 'rape,' and I'm going to mess your life up&hellip;for as long as you're on this frickin' planet&hellip;you're going to have judgments against you, so much money, you'll never know how to get out from underneath it," he added.</p> </blockquote> <p>Trump's lawyer continued to threaten the reporter by saying, "Tread very fucking lightly, because what I&rsquo;m going to do to you is going to be fucking disgusting."</p> <p>One thing is clear: Trump's lawyer <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/donald-trump-insult-generator" target="_blank">has the same rhetorical style as Trump</a>.</p> <p>Shout out to my friend Nina Strochlic and former deputy Asawin Suebsaeng for helping report the story.</p></body></html> MoJo Elections Tue, 28 Jul 2015 02:12:07 +0000 Ben Dreyfuss 280766 at http://www.motherjones.com Boy Scouts End Age-Old Ban on Gay Leadership http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/boy-scouts-end-age-old-ban-gay-leadership <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The Boy Scouts of America voted today to scrap a blanket ban on gay leaders, marking the end of a policy as old as the group itself. The change will also bar discrimination based on sexual orientation in all Boy Scouts of America official facilities and paying jobs.</p> <p>Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America (and former US defense secretary), <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2015/05/boys-scouts" target="_blank">called</a> for an end to the ban in May, saying the organization should "deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be."</p> <p>The end of the ban does not, however, mark complete acceptance of gay leaders: Some scout groups, particularly those with close religious affiliations, will be able to limit leadership positions to heterosexuals.</p> <p>Here are some stories that demarcate turning points in the controversy:</p> <ul><li>An <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/meet-navigators-anti-boy-scouts-who-have-doubled-numbers-one-year" target="_blank">alternative group called the Navigators</a> gained traction with families fed up with BSA policies against gay scouts, atheists, and families who wanted their daughters and sons to be in the same scouting troop. Navigators USA publicized itself as an organization that "welcomes all people...no matter what gender, race, lifestyle, ability, religious or lack of religious belief."</li> <li>This timeline shows <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/timeline-boy-scouts-gay-ban-policy-history" target="_blank">just how long</a> anti-gay discrimination has been going on in the BSA.&nbsp;</li> <li>In 2013, the BSA <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/05/boy-scouts-vote-ban-gay-members" target="_blank">ended its ban on kids</a> in the program who identify as gay, but kept its ban on adults&mdash;meaning, in effect, that once a scout turned 18, he could be kicked out.</li> <li>The Boy Scouts council <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/01/boy-scouts-threaten-kick-out-troop-who-supports-gay-members" target="_blank">threatened to kick out</a> a Maryland pack for posting an inclusive statement on its website promising not to discriminate against gay scouts.</li> <li>BSA funders such as UPS, United Way, the Merck Company Foundation, and the Intel Foundation fled for the hills as <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/01/boy-scouts-verizon-protest-lgbt" target="_blank">a direct result </a>of the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policies.</li> </ul><p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Gay Rights Top Stories boy scouts Mon, 27 Jul 2015 23:31:09 +0000 Becca Andrews 280696 at http://www.motherjones.com Want to Meet a 9/11 Truther? Go to a Donald Trump Event http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-911-truther <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Despite all the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-campaign-speech-lindsey-graham" target="_blank">outrageous stunts</a> and patently <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-does-not-avoid-women-mandrake" target="_blank">racist quotes</a> from Donald Trump's current campaign for president, the real estate mogul continues to lead as the front-runner for the GOP nomination.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/07/27/5-things-i-learned-by-spending-four-hours-in-the-donald-trump-experience/?postshare=6091438023037152" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em>'s David Weigel</a> recently visited a Trump "family picnic" to take a look at the pandemonium surrounding the campaign. It's also where 9/11 Truth Activist Rick Shaddock happened to be before meandering into the press room to ask the following question:</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">excellent segue game from a 9/11 truther, via <a href="https://twitter.com/daveweigel">@daveweigel</a>'s trump story <a href="http://t.co/zSuc7JAyEi">http://t.co/zSuc7JAyEi</a> <a href="http://t.co/LzitlEXI73">pic.twitter.com/LzitlEXI73</a></p> &mdash; Jim Newell (@jim_newell) <a href="https://twitter.com/jim_newell/status/625747632586129408">July 27, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Trump rejected the question, asking the reporters in the room, "Is this guy some kind of conspiracy guy?" But he shouldn't have been all too surprised by Shaddock's presence. After all, if you're going to peddle outrageous conspiracy theories, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/10/vaccine-denial-conspiracy-theories-gmos-climate" target="_blank">you're going to attract outrageous conspiracy theorists.</a></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:03:41 +0000 Inae Oh 280716 at http://www.motherjones.com Anti-Abortion Hackers Claim to Have Stolen Data That Could Take Down Planned Parenthood http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/planned-parenthood-reportedly-hacked-3301 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>Update, July 27, 4:45 p.m. EST: </strong>Planned Parenthood released a statement confirming it has notified the FBI and the Department of Justice to investigate the cyber attack. "Today Planned Parenthood has notified the&nbsp;Department of Justice and separately the&nbsp;FBI that extremists who oppose Planned Parenthood's mission and services have launched an attack on our information systems, and have called on the world's most sophisticated hackers to assist them in breaching our systems and threatening the privacy and safety of our staff members," Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said. "We are working with top leaders in this field to manage these attacks. We treat matters of safety and security with the utmost importance, and are taking every measure possible to mitigate these criminal efforts to undermine our mission and services."</p> <p>A hacker group calling itself 3301 is claiming to have penetrated Planned Parenthood's databases and is threatening to release the personal information of employees working for the non-profit organization, along with other sensitive data. <a href="http://www.dailydot.com/politics/planned-parenthood-hacked-anti-abortion-3301/" target="_blank"><em>The Daily Dot</em></a> spoke to one of the alleged hackers, who denounced Planned Parenthood as an "atrocious monstrosity." A senior Planned Parenthood executive tells <em>Mother Jones </em>that the group is investigating the alleged hack.</p> <p>"Obviously what [Planned Parenthood] does is a very ominous practice," the alleged hacker, going by the identity "E," said. "It'll be interesting to see what surfaces when [Planned Parenthood] is stripped&nbsp;naked and exposed to the public."</p> <p>The group&mdash;whose name, according to <em>The Daily Dot</em>, appears to be a nod to "a famous group of secretive cryptographers known as Cicada 3301"&mdash;claims it will release the names and addresses of employees "soon."</p> <p>The potential breach comes amid intense controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion group released hidden-camera <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/planned-parenthood-sting-videos-explained" target="_blank">footage</a> appearing to show top Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of tissue from aborted fetuses. Though the footage was heavily edited, pro-choice groups fear the ramifications that could potentially follow from the sting operation. A slew of <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/gop-candidates-raise-money-from-planned-parenthood-sting-videos-120614.html" target="_blank">anti-abortion politicians,</a> including Ben Carson and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), have used the videos to denounce the organization and justify defunding it.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Please join me as I speak at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WomenBetrayed?src=hash">#WomenBetrayed</a> Rally tomorrow in Washington D.C. <a href="http://t.co/zLOUPcTTkQ">http://t.co/zLOUPcTTkQ</a> <a href="https://t.co/uMeAK1RrBb">https://t.co/uMeAK1RrBb</a></p> &mdash; Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealBenCarson/status/625666524934742016">July 27, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>"We've seen the claims around attempts to access our systems," Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said in a statement to <em>Mother Jones</em>. "We take security very seriously and are investigating. It's unsurprising that those opposed to safe and legal abortion are participating in this campaign of harassment against us and our patients, and claiming to stoop to this new low."</p></body></html> MoJo Reproductive Rights Top Stories Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:48:48 +0000 Inae Oh 280676 at http://www.motherjones.com The Americans With Disabilities Act Is Turning 25. Watch the Dramatic Protest That Made It Happen. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/americans-disabilities-act-capitol-crawl-anniversary <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Twenty-five years ago this weekend, the <a href="http://www.ada.gov/ada_intro.htm" target="_blank">Americans With Disabilities Act</a> was signed into law, officially outlawing discrimination against disabled people in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and government services. The law was a long time coming: Activists had fought for decades against unequal access to jobs and <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/07/24/why-the-americans-with-disabilities-act-mattered/" target="_blank">exclusion from public schools.</a> But the ADA might never have gotten to President George H.W. Bush's desk were it not for a group of activists in wheelchairs who took matters into their own hands earlier that year.</p> <p>On March 12, 1990, hundreds of people with disabilities gathered at the foot of the Capitol building in Washington to protest the bill's slow movement through Congress. Dozens left behind their wheelchairs, got down on their hands and knees, and began pulling themselves slowly up the 83 steps<strong> </strong>toward the building's west entrance, as if daring the politicians inside to continue ignoring all the barriers they faced. Among the climbers was <a href="https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1298&amp;dat=19900313&amp;id=IOFLAAAAIBAJ&amp;sjid=b4sDAAAAIBAJ&amp;pg=6535,2252422&amp;hl=en" target="_blank">Jennifer Keelan</a>, an eight-year-old from Denver with cerebral palsy. "I'll take all night if I have to!" she yelled while dragging herself higher and higher.</p> <p>Here's some footage of the protest, via PBS's <em>Independent Lens</em>:</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ueQ0TfVGxU4?start=96" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>The Capitol Crawl, as it became known, made national headlines and pushed lawmakers to pass the ADA into law. When Bush finally signed the landmark bill, it was seen as one of the country's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation to date. But it was not a total cure-all, according to <a href="http://heller.brandeis.edu/facguide/person.html?emplid=810f36b7a7543e9b18b0dc98c9fa817fc8373dff" target="_blank">Susan Parish</a>, a professor of disability policy at Brandeis University. <a href="http://dredf.org/news/publications/the-history-of-the-ada/" target="_blank">The Supreme Court later watered it down</a>, she says, in a series of decisions that created a narrow definition of disability.</p> <p>In 2008, lawmakers passed <a href="http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adaaa_info.cfm" target="_blank">amendments to strengthen the ADA</a>, but Parish says people with disabilities have still struggled to gain equal access to employment, in part because employers are expected to comply with the law but do not have to follow reporting requirements. "I feel that the country needs a full-scale affirmative action program for people with disabilities," she said in <a href="http://www.brandeis.edu/now/2015/july/parish-ada-qanda.html" target="_blank">a recent interview</a>.</p> <p>President Obama issued an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/executive-order-increasing-federal-employment-individuals-with-disabilities" target="_blank">executive order</a> in 2010 requiring the federal government to hire more people with disabilities. In <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/20/remarks-president-americans-disabilities-act" target="_blank">a speech </a>earlier this week, he said the West Wing receptionist, Leah Katz-Hernandez, is the first deaf American to hold her position. But despite some progress since 1990, he acknowledged, "We've still got to do more to make sure that people with disabilities are paid fairly for their labor, to make sure they are safe in their homes and their communities&hellip;I don't have to tell you this fight is not over."</p></body></html> MoJo Video Human Rights Top Stories Sat, 25 Jul 2015 10:00:07 +0000 Samantha Michaels 280461 at http://www.motherjones.com Louisiana Has Some of the Weakest Gun Laws in the Country http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/louisiana-weak-gun-laws-jindal-cost-of-gun-violence <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Thursday night,&nbsp;59-year-old John Russell Houser of Alabama <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/mass-shooting-movie-theater-lafayette" target="_blank">walked into the Grand Theater</a> in Lafayette, Louisiana, with a handgun and shot into a crowd, killing two and injuring nine more<strong>.</strong> At a press conference Friday, Democratic state Rep. Terry Landry Sr. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/louisiana-gun-control-laws_55b2624ce4b0224d88320359" target="_blank">called</a> for stricter gun laws in Louisiana, saying, "It's our job as legislators to close the loopholes in these gun laws." Indeed, according to the National Rife Association, Louisiana has one of the most open gun policies around&mdash;from its <a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/06/gun_control_bobby_jindal_law.html" target="_blank">unabashedly</a> <a href="https://www.nraila.org/articles/20150702/louisiana-governor-jindal-signs-nra-backed-measures-into-law" target="_blank">pro-gun </a>governor to its <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/map-gun-laws-2009-2012" target="_blank">concealed carry law</a>.&nbsp;A 2014 <a href="http://gunlawscorecard.org/" target="_blank">report</a> by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence rated the state as having "the weakest gun laws in the country."</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about gun law in Louisiana:</p> <ul><li>Gun owners don't have to obtain a permit to purchase guns. Buyers don't have to register their firearms, and they don't need a license to possess them. State <a href="https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-gun-laws/louisiana/" target="_blank">law</a> requires a concealed carry permit for handguns, but there is no permit required to carry rifles or shotguns.</li> <li>State law only restricts two kinds of people from possessing guns: those 17 and under, or those convicted of certain violent crimes (until a decade has passed since the completion of the sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of a sentence).</li> <li>The state has <a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/07/louisiana_stand_your_ground_zi.html" target="_blank">enacted "castle doctrine"</a>, meaning deadly force is considered justifiable in a court of law to defend against an intruder in a person's home. The Louisiana state legislature also passed a "<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/top-five-stand-your-ground-cases-zimmerman" target="_blank">Stand Your Ground</a>" law in 2006, stating that anyone in a place "where he or she has a right," including public spaces, is not obligated "to retreat" if faced with a threat and "may stand his or her ground and meet force with force." (Check out <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/06/stand-your-ground-map" target="_blank">our map</a> of how quickly "Stand Your Ground" laws spread across the United States).</li> <li>Firearms may be stored in locked, privately owned motor vehicles. Louisiana is one of <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/12/12/369833958/do-guns-on-the-premises-leave-workers-more-safe-or-less" target="_blank">22 states </a>with similar policies that allow guns to be left in the office parking lot.</li> <li>Gun owners have the right to carry in restaurants.</li> <li>According to a 2012 state constitutional <a href="http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/05/gun_rights_constitutional_amen.html" target="_blank">amendment</a>, "[t]he right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed" and "any restriction on this right" will be met with maximum skepticism from the courts. The amendment, which was heavily backed by Gov. Jindal, also removed language that would allow the legislature to "prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on a person." In a written <a href="http://gov.louisiana.gov/index.cfm?md=newsroom&amp;tmp=detail&amp;articleID=3444&amp;printer=1" target="_blank">statement</a>, Jindal argued: "We are adopting the strongest, most iron-clad, constitutional protection for law-abiding gun owners. It's our own Second Amendment, if you will."</li> </ul><p>Given these laws, it's no surprise that <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/gun-owners-study-one-in-three" target="_blank">nearly half of Louisiana households own a gun</a>. Unfortunately, the state also sees high levels of armed violence: According to a <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/how-much-money-does-gun-violence-cost-in-your-state" target="_blank">investigation</a>, the state has the country's highest gun homicide rate&mdash;9.4 per 100,000 residents. And that gun violence has cost each Louisiana resident <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/04/how-much-money-does-gun-violence-cost-in-your-state" target="_blank">at least $1,333</a><strong> </strong>a year.</p></body></html> MoJo Guns Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:29:07 +0000 Becca Andrews 280521 at http://www.motherjones.com Report: The Obama Administration May Release Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/israeli-spy-jonathan-pollard-may-soon-go-free <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Much of the debate surrounding the nuclear deal with Iran announced last week has centered around Israel's reaction&mdash;and what the United States might offer the Israeli government to tamp down its anger over the agreement. It turns out one of those things may be the freedom of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.</p> <p>Pollard, once a US Navy intelligence analyst, was convicted of espionage in 1985 and sentenced to life in prison. His release became a <em>cause </em><span class="st"><em>c&eacute;l&egrave;bre </em></span>for many Israelis, and the country's leaders have campaigned for years to have Pollard released. They have been unsuccessful up until now, but the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reported on Friday afternoon that the US will <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-preparing-to-release-convicted-israeli-spy-jonathan-pollard-officials-say-1437766957" target="_blank">soon allow Pollard to go free</a>.</p> <p>Israel has been the leading international critic of the Iran deal&mdash;Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "<a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/jul/14/iran-nuclear-deal-israel-prime-minister-binyamin-netanyahu-video" target="_blank">stunning historic mistake</a>" within hours of its completion&mdash;and the timing of the report gives the impression that Pollard's release would be an olive branch to the Jewish state. But, as the <em>Journal</em> reports, "[s]ome U.S. officials strongly denied Friday there was any link between the Iran deal and Mr. Pollard's prospective release, saying that any release decision would be made by the U.S. Parole Commission." Pollard has also <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/03/31/jonathan-pollard-why-israel-wants-him-free-why-the-u-s-doesnt-and-what-might-happen-next/?postshare=9261437767672356" target="_blank">been a bargaining chip</a> in previous US-Israeli diplomatic spats, most recently last year as the Obama administration sought concessions from Israel in order to salvage peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.</p> <p>Pollard is approaching the 30-year mark of his life sentence, and is eligible for parole for the first time on November 21, 2015.</p></body></html> MoJo International Israel Fri, 24 Jul 2015 21:02:06 +0000 Max J. Rosenthal 280601 at http://www.motherjones.com Silicon Valley Made a Bunch of Dudes Billionaires, But It’s Making You Poorer http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/tech-industry-income-inequality <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>First the tech industry made your life easier with iPhones, tablets, and smart-everything. But is it also making it harder for you to get ahead?</p> <p>A recent <a href="http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2015/sdn1513.pdf" target="_blank">study</a> on global income inequality by the International Monetary Fund identifies technological change as a top factor driving the split between rich and poor worldwide. Specifically, the study's authors found that&nbsp;the growth of technology accounts for nearly one-third of the widening gap between the top 10 percent and bottom 90 percent over the past quarter century. Other factors include the globalization of trade and finance.</p> <p>Here's how tech has contributed to widening the gap: It's eliminated jobs by automating tasks, and it's driven up the "skill premium," meaning jobs that require skills like coding pay more lucratively than traditional blue-collar jobs. But even tech workers aren't safe, because their industry's needs evolve so quickly that they may be made obsolete by the very advancements they're working toward. In the end, the jobs that pay the most are only for those who can keep up with the changing times, and those who can afford the required education to get a position in the first place.&nbsp;<strong> &nbsp; </strong></p> <p>The study notes that technological change has contributed most to rising income inequality in the 39 <a href="http://www.oecd.org/about/history/" target="_blank">OECD countries</a><strong> </strong>that make up 80 percent of global trade and investment. It finds that inequality has grown the most in the United States and the United Kingdom, even as poverty in emerging economies has decreased.</p> <p>Education hasn't alleviated income inequality as much as it could, according to the study. Despite a notable rise in highly-educated workers, the wage gap between high- and low-skilled workers remains. The researchers suggest that education is a viable solution only if governments invest it and make it affordable. "What we find really is that raising income shares of the rich doesn't trickle down," says Era Dabla-Norris, the study's lead author and a researcher at the International Monetary Fund. "And raising the income shares of the poor and middle class is actually good for growth."</p> <p>And while other <a href="http://www.citylab.com/tech/2014/12/is-startup-urbanism-to-blame-for-rising-american-inequality/383558/" target="_blank">studies</a> have found links between housing costs and<strong> </strong>venture capital investment, high levels of innovation, high concentrations of high-tech industry and venture capital startups (looking at you, San Francisco), the issue of inequality is a complex one. "There are some common drivers across the world, but the drivers vary," Dabla-Norris says. "Policies to alleviate inequality have to be country-specific; there is no one-size-fits-all."</p></body></html> MoJo Income Inequality Tech Thu, 23 Jul 2015 21:25:44 +0000 Becca Andrews 280036 at http://www.motherjones.com Jeb Bush Wants America to "Phase Out" Medicare http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/jeb-bush-wants-phase-out-medicare <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told a crowd in New Hampshire that Americans need to consider ways to "phase out" Medicare.</p> <p>The former Florida governor, who was speaking at an event hosted by the Koch-brothers supported group Americans for Prosperity, also suggested "people understand" and agree with him on the issue.</p> <p>"They know, and I think a lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits," <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/jeb-bush-pushes-phase-out-medicare" target="_blank">Bush said.</a> "But that we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something&mdash;because they're not going to have anything."</p> <p>Bush's comments echo the views of former president and brother George W. Bush, who pushed to severely <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2005/02/02/retirement/stofunion_socsec/" target="_blank">slash Social Security</a> with a controversial reform plan back in 2005. That effort proved overwhelmingly unpopular and <a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2007/09/21governance-galston" target="_blank">failed. </a></p> <p>A day before Bush's Medicare comments, a new report showing the program's costs to be significantly under what had been previously projected nearly ten years ago, as our own <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/medicare-cost-projections-are-down-stunningly-2015-report" target="_blank">Kevin Drum noted:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Beyond that, it's always foolish to assume that costs will rise forever just because they have in the past. Medicare is a political program, and at some point the public will decide that it's not willing to fund it at higher levels. It's not as if it's on autopilot, after all. We live in a democracy, and after lots of yelling and fighting, we'll eventually do something about rising medical costs if we simply don't think the additional spending is worth it.</p> </blockquote> <p>Despite the resulting failure of his brother's plan to do away with Social Security, Bush said he believes that his plan to gradually eliminate Medicare will prove to be a "winning argument if we take it directly to people."</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ry_fRjLyE68" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Health Care Thu, 23 Jul 2015 20:40:18 +0000 Inae Oh 280421 at http://www.motherjones.com Waller County Officials: Sandra Bland Autopsy Consistent With Suicide http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/waller-county-officials-sandra-bland-autopsy-consistent-suicide <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a press conference on Thursday afternoon, the Waller County District Attorney revealed preliminary <a href="http://www.click2houston.com/news/waller-county-da-to-release-autopsy-results-of-sandra-bland/34316928" target="_blank">autopsy results in the death</a> of Sandra Bland, the 28-year-old black woman who was found dead in her jail cell days after being arrested for a traffic stop, saying that examiners discovered no apparent injuries consistent with a violent homicide or struggle.</p> <p>Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam told reporters that he was presenting physical rather than criminal findings, but said there was no evidence found in the autopsy of injuries to Bland's hands or internal organs to suggest a violent struggle had taken place in the jail. Previously, a medical examiner <a href="http://www.click2houston.com/news/waller-county-da-to-release-autopsy-results-of-sandra-bland/34316928" target="_blank">called her death a suicide by hanging</a>. Bland's family disputes the finding.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Diepraam: No damage to internal organs. Usually during violent strangulation the hyoid bone is damaged and neck damaged. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SandraBland?src=hash">#SandraBland</a></p> &mdash; Jayme Fraser (@JaymeKFraser) <a href="https://twitter.com/JaymeKFraser/status/624298277425561600">July 23, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>There was no evidence the first autopsy performed on Bland was defective <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/sandra-bland-said-she-was-depressed-attempted-suicide-jail-records-n396886" target="_blank">as was previously alleged by an attorney representing Bland's family</a>,&nbsp;Diepraam added.</p> <p>According to the new autopsy findings, Bland's injuries were consistent with having "a force against her back."</p> <p>A portion of the press conference focused on the presence of marijuana found in Bland's system&mdash;confirmed by preliminary autopsy results. Many took to social media to question the relevance of the finding.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Press conference "Marijuana in her system" mentioned again &amp; again, WTF that got to do with anything again? Stop the sideshow</p> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">we're in phase 3 of the character assassination against <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SandraBland?src=hash">#SandraBland</a>, right? where they say she had marijuana in her system.</p> &mdash; Michelle Huxtable (@MichelleHux) <a href="https://twitter.com/MichelleHux/status/624274169375653888">July 23, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Thu, 23 Jul 2015 20:04:32 +0000 Inae Oh 280436 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz Wants to Be Able to Oust Supreme Court Justices http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/ted-cruz-wants-be-able-oust-supreme-court-justices <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Ted Cruz is plowing ahead with an effort to subject Supreme Court justices to elections, tapping into conservative anger toward the court after last month's rulings preserving the Affordable Care Act and making same-sex marriage legal nationwide.</p> <p>After <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/06/27/ted-cruz-calls-for-judicial-retention-elections-for-supreme-court-justices" target="_blank">calling publicly</a> for retention elections for the justices, the senator from Texas and Republican presidential candidate convened a <a href="http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/with-prejudice-supreme-court-activism-and-possible-solutions" target="_blank">Senate hearing</a> on Wednesday to discuss "possible solutions" to the Supreme Court's "activism."</p> <p>"This past term, the court crossed a line, continued its long descent into lawlessness to a level that I believe demands action," a dour Cruz said in his opening statement at the hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee subpanel. "Five unelected lawyers have declared themselves the rulers of 320 million Americans."</p> <p>Two of the three witnesses agreed that the court had overstepped its bounds. Ed Whelan, a former Justice Department official and legal blogger at the conservative <em>National Review</em>, said the gay marriage opinion, <em>Obergefell v. Hodges</em>, "is rivaled in Supreme Court history only by <em>Dred Scott</em> v. <em>Sandford</em>," the decision that helped catalyze the Civil War, and <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, which recognized a woman's right to an abortion.</p> <p>In response, Cruz said he supported proposals for term limits for Supreme Court justices, in addition to his own proposal to subject Supreme Court justices to retention elections.</p> <p>Cruz's retention election proposal received praise from one of the witnesses, John Eastman, a conservative scholar at Chapman University School of Law in California and board chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that has fought bitterly to keep same-sex marriage illegal. (Eastman once equated homosexuality with <a href="http://equalitymatters.org/blog/201109220010" target="_blank">"barbarism."</a>) Eastman <a href="http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/07-22-15%20Eastman%20Testimony1.pdf" target="_blank">suggested</a> two additional constitutional amendments to limit, as he put it, "judicial tyranny": Give a majority of states the power to override "an erroneous decision" of the court, and allow Congress to veto Supreme Court rulings by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses.</p> <p>Although liberals <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/supreme-court-liberal-conservative" target="_blank">fared well</a> in the Supreme Court's recent rulings, they often find themselves in agreement with Cruz's position on term limits. The one liberal witness at the hearing, Neil Siegel, a constitutional expert at Duke Law School and former Senate Judiciary Committee counsel to then-Sen. Joe Biden, said he supported term limits. (He's not the only <a href="http://www.newrepublic.com/article/122225/ted-cruz-right-supreme-court-needs-term-limits" target="_blank">prominent liberal legal scholar to do so</a>.) Eastman, by contrast, said term limits wouldn't save the court from a parade of activist judges, while Whelan didn't take a position.</p> <p>"I've become persuaded as a matter of constitutional design I think [term limits are] a good idea," Siegel said Wednesday. "People are appointed in their forties. They can stay there till their nineties. I think nomination and confirmation is a way that over time we ensure democratic accountability. &hellip; I think regular changeover on the court, like an 18-year term, might be a very good idea and worth serious consideration."</p> <p>This is not the first time that politicians or scholars have proposed reigning in the lifetime appointment of Supreme Court justices. A <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/americans-favor-supreme-court-term-limits-reuters-ipsos-055529256.html" target="_blank">recent poll</a> found that two-thirds of Americans would support term limits for the court. But any such changes would likely require a politically difficult constitutional amendment, given that the Constitution says justices "shall hold their offices during good behavior"&mdash;generally interpreted to mean as long as they like, unless they're impeached and removed from office.</p></body></html> MoJo Supreme Court Ted Cruz Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:39:50 +0000 Pema Levy 280371 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Says He May Run As a Third-Party Candidate http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-rnc-third-party-candidate <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Donald Trump, displeased with the Republican National Committee, is threatening to launch a third-party White House run.</p> <p>In an <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/248910-exclusive-trump-threatens-third-party-run" target="_blank">interview</a> with <em>The Hill</em>, Trump said that while the RNC had been happy in the past to accept his money, the party has "not been supportive" of his candidacy. Consequently, he is mulling a third-party presidential run, and says the chances of him launching one would increase if he feels the committee treats him unfairly during the primaries.</p> <p>"I'm not in the gang. I'm not in the group where the group does whatever it's supposed to do," Trump told <em>The Hill</em>, explaining why he believes he's unpopular with the GOP establishment.</p> <p>A third-party Trump campaign would be cause for celebration among Democrats, since he would potentially siphon off Republican support and clear the way for a Democratic victory.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Elections Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:45:30 +0000 Miles E. Johnson 280361 at http://www.motherjones.com Mike Huckabee Is Blowing Up Disney Characters for Attention http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/mike-huckabee-lion-king-obama-iran <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Donald Trump's antics have caused his fellow Republican presidential candidates to take crazy&mdash;and, in some instances,&nbsp;pyrotechnical&mdash;steps&nbsp;to get attention. Rand Paul took <a href="http://time.com/3966731/rand-paul-chainsaw-tax-code-video/" target="_blank">a chainsaw</a> to the tax code. Lindsey Graham <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/here-watch-lindsey-graham-light-cell-phones-fire" target="_blank">torched</a> his cell phone. And here is&nbsp;former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's official response to President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran:</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe frameborder="0" height="600" src="https://vine.co/v/e6wU6mvJPwx/embed/simple" width="600"></iframe><script src="https://platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js"></script></p> <p>What a wonderful phrase.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections mike huckabee Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:19:42 +0000 Tim Murphy 280336 at http://www.motherjones.com New York Fast-Food Workers Just Scored a Big Win In Their Fight For a Living Wage http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/new-york-fast-food-workers-minimum-wage <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In a widely expected move, a panel appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/23/nyregion/new-york-minimum-wage-fast-food-workers.html?emc=edit_na_20150722&amp;nlid=54698227&amp;ref=headline&amp;_r=0" target="_blank">recommended</a> today that the state's minimum wage for employees of fast-food chain restaurants be raised to $15 an hour.</p> <p>The recommendation comes three years after <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/how-fast-food-strikes-started" target="_blank">strikes by New York City fast-food workers</a> set off a national labor movement that has led to the passage of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. But unlike those cities, New York doesn't have the power to set its own minimum wage&mdash;it's up to legislators in Albany.</p> <p>When New York lawmakers balked at raising the minimum wage last year, Gov. Cuomo convened a board to examine wages in the fast food industry, which employs 180,000 people in the state. The state's labor commissioner, a Cuomo appointee, has the power to issue an order putting the proposal into effect. If he approves the wage hike, fast-food workers currently earning the state's minimum wage of $8.75 will get a 70 percent raise, effective by 2018 in New York City and 2021 in the rest of the state.</p> <p>"It's hard to explain to my children why they can't do things other kids do," Barbara Kelley, a Buffalo mother who works at Dunkin' Donuts and takes home an average of $150 a week, said in a statement released by <a href="http://fightfor15.org/" target="_blank">labor organizers</a>. "With $15 an hour, I will be able to get by and maybe reward my kids in little ways, like ice cream after a long day, and in big ways like being able to save for the future." Labor organizers are optimistic that the $15 wage will be adopted and will spur raises in other industries.</p></body></html> MoJo Income Inequality Labor Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:20:41 +0000 Josh Harkinson 280276 at http://www.motherjones.com A Campus Cop Killed An Unarmed Black Man In Ohio. It Was Caught On Video. Where's the Video? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/unarmed-black-man-was-killed-campus-police-ohio%E2%80%94and-video-being-withheld <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Authorities are still withholding crucial video evidence from the public three days after a deadly confrontation between a campus cop and an unarmed black person in Cincinnati, Ohio.&nbsp;On Sunday night, Ray Tensing, a white University of Cincinnati police officer, <a href="http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/07/22/students-demand-answers-ucpd/30458785/" target="_blank">stopped</a> 43-year-old Samuel Dubose for driving without a license plate. Police say Tensing asked Dubose for his driver's license multiple times, before Dubose handed over a bottle of alcohol.&nbsp;</p> <p>When Tensing asked Dubose to step out of the car, a struggle reportedly ensued. Tensing, who has since been placed on administrative leave, allegedly fired his weapon, shooting Dubose in the head.&nbsp;The <em>Cincinnati Enquirer</em> <a href="http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/07/22/students-demand-answers-ucpd/30458785/" target="_blank">reports </a>that authorities have so far withheld video footage taken from a body camera and a nearby building while the Hamilton County prosecutor's office investigates the incident.&nbsp;That video has been turned over to the prosecutor's office for the probe, which is expected to be completed by the end of the week.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dubose's death comes after months of national scrutiny, and widespread protests, over&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/08/police-shootings-michael-brown-ferguson-black-men" target="_blank">police shootings</a>. More than 500 people have been killed by police so far in 2015, according to a <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shootings/" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em> analysis</a>.&nbsp;It's worth noting that the arming of campus police officers <a href="http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cle1112.pdf" target="_blank">has also been on the rise</a>: Seventy-five percent of four-year private and public colleges had armed officers during the 2011-2012 school year, up from 68 percent in 2004-2005, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.&nbsp;</p></body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Race and Ethnicity Wed, 22 Jul 2015 19:13:31 +0000 Edwin Rios 280241 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Gave Out a Senator's Cell Phone Number. So He Doused the Phone With Lighter Fluid and Torched It. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/here-watch-lindsey-graham-light-cell-phones-fire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Lindsey Graham learned the hard way on that you never give your phone number to a petty billionaire. But even though Donald Trump's <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-campaign-speech-lindsey-graham" target="_blank">public read-out of Graham's cell phone number</a> to the entire country on Tuesday led to a slew of <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/07/21/lindsey-grahams-phone-is-still-ringing-now-kelly-ayottes-kids-are-answering/" target="_blank">random calls</a>, the Republican senator from South Carolina is responding with a sense of humor.</p> <p>First he joked on Twitter that he needed a new phone thanks to the flood of calls, asking his Twitter followers on Tuesday afternoon what kind he should get.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Probably getting a new phone. iPhone or Android?</p> &mdash; Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) <a href="https://twitter.com/LindseyGrahamSC/status/623568746997784576">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Now Graham is trolling Trump in a video for <em>IJReview</em>, a conservative news site. Using fire, a toaster oven, a golf club, a cleaver, and other fun but totally unnecessary methods, he destroys a bunch of flip phones&mdash;and one unfortunate blender. "Or if all else fails, you can always give your number to The Donald," Graham says in closing, before hurling one last phone off screen "for the veterans," a dig at Trump's attack on Sen. John McCain's time as prisoner of war.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RXSFRMJhlgY" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>Someone may eventually want to tell Graham this isn't actually how phone numbers work, but we'll take the videos for now.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:08:35 +0000 Max J. Rosenthal 280251 at http://www.motherjones.com Ben Carson Says Prison Is So Comfy Some People Never Want to Leave http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/ben-carson-says-prisons-are-too-comfy <!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 visited a federal prison in Oklahoma last week to discuss sentencing reform for non-violent drug offenses. At an event in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson revealed that he, too, had visited federal prisons&mdash;and had a much different takeaway. Federal prisons are really nice!</p> <p>From the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/07/21/ben-carson-defends-donald-trump/" target="_blank"><em>Washington Post</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I was flabbergasted by the accommodations&mdash;the exercise equipment, the libraries and the computers," he said. He said he was told that "a lot of times when it's about time for one of the guys to be discharged, especially when its winter, they'll do something so they can stay in there."</p> <p>...</p> <p>"I think that we need to sometimes ask ourselves, 'Are we creating an environment that is conducive to comfort where a person would want to stay, versus an environment where we maybe provide them an opportunity for rehabilitation but is not a place that they would find particularly comfortable?'" he told reporters.</p> </blockquote> <p>Not all federal prisons are alike, but to put his experiences in perspective, Carson may want to <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/federal-prisons-chief-bop-suicide-memo" target="_blank">read up</a> on the federal maximum-security facility in Florence, Colorado:</p> <blockquote> <p>A <a href="http://www.supermaxlawsuit.com/ADX-Litigation-Fact-Sheet-and-Prisoner-Profiles.pdf">federal class-action lawsuit</a> filed in June alleges that many ADX prisoners suffer from severe mental illness that has been exacerbated or even caused by their years of extreme isolation and sensory deprivation in small concrete cells. It claims that the BOP fails to provide even a semblance of psychiatric care to these prisoners, with grisly results. According to a litigation fact sheet, "inmates often mutilate themselves with razors, shards of glass, sharpened chicken bones, writing utensils and other objects. Many engage in prolonged fits of screaming and ranting. Others converse aloud with the voices they hear in their heads. Still others spread feces and other waste throughout their cells. Suicide attempts are common. Many have been successful.</p> </blockquote></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Prisons Top Stories ben carson Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:05:36 +0000 Tim Murphy 280221 at http://www.motherjones.com Jeb Bush Stiffs Christian Group on Poverty Video http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/jeb-bush-stiffs-Christian-group-poverty-video <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>More than 100 Christian leaders from the right and the left working under the umbrella group <a href="http://circleofprotection.us/candidate-videos/" target="_blank">Circle of Protection</a> recently asked all of the presidential candidates to make a three-minute video answering this question: "What would you do as president to offer help and opportunity to hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world?" Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Mike Huckabee, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina each responded with videos specifically produced for this project that to varying degrees answer the question. Jeb Bush replied by sending the group a stock campaign ad.</p> <p>The non-Bush videos are mostly mediocre in production value and content. The Republican candidates couch most of their rhetoric in religious terms, suggesting that they would encourage families and churches take care of their own, with no help from the government. Cruz, in an awkward video, talks directly to the camera to declare the War on Poverty an abject failure. He promises to "reward" Americans who give money to Christian ministries. Fiorina barely manages to eke out a whole minute talking about the subject, but she works in lots of references to God. Carson suggests that big US agricultural companies working in Cameroon hold the key to helping the hungry. Sanders' video is low-budget but at least presents specific proposals, including funding infrastructure improvements to put people to work. Huckabee's video shows his childhood home in Hope, Arkansas. He vows to protect Medicare and Social Security.</p> <p>Jeb Bush didn't bother to cut a video for the Circle of Protection, which includes the National Association of Evangelicals. Instead, he sent in the "Making a Difference" video he released last month to "<a href="http://www.crowleypoliticalreport.com/2015/06/jeb-bush-unveils-new-video-and-campaign-logo.html" target="_blank">introduce himself to the nation</a>" before officially announcing his presidential campaign. The spot has high production values, music, and lots of other people talking: the mother of a developmentally disabled child; a formerly battered woman; a kid who got a private school voucher. It's easier to watch than Cruz's. But it's just a campaign ad.</p> <p>Chris Ford, media relations manager for Bread for the World, one of the founders of the Circle of Protection, says that the group is not commenting on the individual videos and is "letting the voters decide" what to think. More videos, which will be circulated to churches across the country, are expected in the next week or so from Hillary Clinton, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Martin O'Malley and Rand Paul. Ford says that the group has reached out to Donald Trump, but he hasn't responded to its requests.</p> <p>You can watch the Bush video here:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0T0Gkf2hLG4" width="560"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Jeb Bush Tue, 21 Jul 2015 18:15:32 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 280096 at http://www.motherjones.com Donald Trump Just Gave the Most Insane Campaign Speech Ever http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-campaign-speech-lindsey-graham <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Speaking at his first campaign rally in South Carolina on Tuesday, Donald Trump addressed his critics and fellow Republican presidential candidates calling for him to step out of the race.</p> <p>He specifically fired back at Sen. Lindsey Graham's comments calling Trump a <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/news/sen-lindsey-graham-to-donald-trump-stop-being-a-jackass/" target="_blank">"jackass"</a> yesterday by giving out his personal cell phone number.</p> <center> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/CBSNews">@CBSNews</a> can confirm that the number Trump just read out on stage in South Carolina is Lindsey Graham's cell number.</p> &mdash; DJ Judd (@juddzeez) <a href="https://twitter.com/juddzeez/status/623532952497090560">July 21, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center> <p>Keeping in line with his obsession over who is and who is not smart, Trump said of Graham, "He doesn&rsquo;t seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is smarter than Lindsey Graham."</p> <p>Other low-lights included in the near 45-minute stump speech:&nbsp;"If you can't get rich dealing with politicians, there's something wrong with you" and "I'm the most militaristic person ever."</p> <p><strong>Watch below for the entire spectacle: </strong></p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kj9xsrhJKOQ" width="630"></iframe></p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Tue, 21 Jul 2015 17:30:49 +0000 Inae Oh 280121 at http://www.motherjones.com "I Like People That Weren't Captured, Okay?" Trump Pooh-Poohs McCain's Vietnam Service http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/donald-trump-john-mccain-captured <!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://gawker.com/5914078/donald-trump-is-so-stupid-even-wolf-blitzer-looks-smart-next-to-him" target="_blank">Tinted meatball</a>" Donald Trump attacked the Vietnam service of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) at a social conservative confab in Iowa on Saturday, boasting that the 2008 Republican presidential nominee was only considered a war hero "because he was captured."</p> <p>"I like people that weren't captured, okay?," he told moderator Frank Luntz.</p> <p>Watch:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Here is the clip of Trump's pathetic comment on John McCain. <a href="http://t.co/nGwxriq390">pic.twitter.com/nGwxriq390</a></p> &mdash; Austin Barbour (@Austin_Barbour) <a href="https://twitter.com/Austin_Barbour/status/622441903556919300">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Trump, who missed the Vietnam War after getting a <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-vietnam-draft-records-secret-documents-deferments/story?id=13492639" target="_blank">series</a> of student and medical deferments, has now left an opening for the Republican presidential candidates who trail him in the polls (which is most of them) to get a few clean jabs in. But it's not as simple as it sounds. McCain is not a popular figure among conservative activists, and the entire appeal of Trump is that he says things like this about people that conservative activists don't like. (It certainly <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/30/gop.purple.hearts/" target="_blank">wouldn't be the first time</a> conservative voters overlooked a gratuitous shot at a candidate's war record because they didn't like his politics.)</p> <p>True to form, the audience in Iowa ate it up:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Trump leaves stage to standing ovation.</p> &mdash; Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) <a href="https://twitter.com/Bencjacobs/status/622441323287592961">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><strong>Update: </strong>Now the backlash from Trump's fellow contenders is pouring in. Here's Jeb Bush:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Enough with the slanderous attacks. <a href="https://twitter.com/SenJohnMcCain">@SenJohnMcCain</a> and all our veterans - particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.</p> &mdash; Jeb Bush (@JebBush) <a href="https://twitter.com/JebBush/status/622455579928203264">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <p><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>And longtime McCain bestie Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.):</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">If there was ever any doubt that he should not be <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GOP?src=hash">#GOP</a> standard bearer, his growing mountain of stupid statements should end all doubt.</p> &mdash; Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) <a href="https://twitter.com/LindseyGrahamSC/status/622456093390843904">July 18, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Top Stories Donald Trump Sat, 18 Jul 2015 17:57:32 +0000 Tim Murphy 279966 at http://www.motherjones.com Ex-Congressman Michael Grimm Gets Eight Months in Prison for Tax Crimes http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/ex-congressman-michael-grimm-gets-eight-months-prison-tax-evasion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Former Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), the Staten Islander best known for <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/michael-grimms-greatest-hits" target="_blank">threatening</a> on-camera to "break" a reporter "in half&mdash;like a boy," has been sentenced by a federal judge to eight months in prison for tax evasion.</p> <p>The sentencing, by US District Judge Pamela Chen, comes seven months after Grimm <a href="http://www.startribune.com/ex-ny-congressman-grimm-faces-sentencing-in-tax-case/316090021/" target="_blank">pleaded guilty</a> to his role in filing a false tax return. Grimm had been <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/paul-lepage-michael-grimm-might-actually-win" target="_blank">indicted</a> in April 2014 on 20 counts related to accounting practices at <a href="http://www.startribune.com/ex-ny-congressman-grimm-faces-sentencing-in-tax-case/316090021/" target="_blank">Healthalicious</a>, a Manhattan restaurant he owned before his time in Congress. The restaurant's co-owner, Bennett Orfaly, has previously been <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/01/michael-grimms-greatest-hits" target="_blank">accused</a> of having ties to a convicted Gambino family mobster.</p> <p>Despite his indictment, last year, Grimm ran for reelection to his third term in Congress&mdash;and won. It was not until December 30&mdash;seven days after entering his guilty plea&mdash;that he announced his intentions to resign his seat.</p> <p>Before Grimm was the target of an <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/fbi-arrests-rips-rep-michael-grimm-fbi-agent/story?id=23496040" target="_blank">investigation</a> by the FBI, he served for two decades as one of its agents. It was during this time that Grimm reportedly pulled a gun in a Queens nightclub, and, after a bouncer ejected him, stormed the nightclub with another FBI agent and members of the NYPD. "I'm a fucking F.B.I. agent," <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/05/02/110502fa_fact_ratliff?currentPage=all" target="_blank">Grimm reportedly said</a>. "Ain't nobody gonna threaten me."</p></body></html> MoJo Congress Crime and Justice Top Stories Fri, 17 Jul 2015 16:58:10 +0000 Molly Redden 279916 at http://www.motherjones.com