Political Mojo | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/Blogs/2013/04/cowboy-hat-c http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Meet 5 of the Low-Level Drug Offenders Obama Plans To Set Free. There Are Thousands More Like Them http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/department-justice-clemency-drug-offender <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday, the Department of Justice <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/23/politics/drug-clemency/" target="_blank">announced</a> that thousands of federal inmates serving time for certain non-violent crimes will soon be able to apply for clemency.</p> <p>Those eligible to be set free will be prisoners convicted of low-level nonviolent crimes&mdash;mostly drug offenses&mdash;who have already served 10 years of their sentence, don't have a significant criminal history, and are serving out a sentence the would likely be shorter had they been convicted for the same crime today. The rule change could apply to some <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/23/politics/drug-clemency/" target="_blank">2,000</a> of the 200,000 inmates in federal prison, and is part of a wider effort by the Obama administration to make sentencing laws more fair. Last year, the DOJ <a href="http://swampland.time.com/2013/09/20/obama-expands-mandatory-minimum-sentencing-relief/" target="_blank">changed sentencing guidelines</a> to give judges the freedom to determine whether or not to apply mandatory minimums for certain drug charges.</p> <p>Here are five federal prisoners who will be eligible for clemency under the DOJ's new rules (via <a href="http://famm.org" target="_blank">Families Against Mandatory Minimums</a>):</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/1_0.png"></div> <p><strong>Weldon Angelos: </strong>Angelos is serving 55 years for selling a few pounds of marijuana while in possession of a gun. In his early 20s, Angelos founded a successful Utah-based rap label called Extravagant Records, where he wrote and produced songs with artists like Snoop Dogg. In 2002, the Salt Lake City police, who suspected Angelos was part of a local gang, arranged for an informant to purchase marijuana from him. The informant claimed that Angelos had firearms with him during both buys. When the judge in the case was forced to sentence Angelos to a mandatory 55 years, he called the punishment "unjust, cruel, and even irrational," noting that repeat child rapists and airplane hijackers get shorter sentences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/2_0.png"></div> <p><strong>Sherman Chester:</strong> Chester is serving life without parole for selling cocaine and heroin as part of a drug ring. Chester started selling small amounts in his 20s and soon got involved in a drug conspiracy headed up by a family friend near Tampa, Florida. After an undercover detective bought from him on several occasions, Chester was indicted in federal court in 1992 along with nine others involved in the ring. He was 25. Chester was sentenced as if he had been in possession of nearly the entire amount of heroin and cocaine found on all members of the conspiracy. The judge who meted out Chester's harsh punishment said, "This man doesn&rsquo;t deserve a life sentence, and there is no way that I can legally keep from giving it to him."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/3_0.png"></div> <p><strong>Sharanda Jones:</strong> Jones is serving life without parole for allegedly leading a drug ring. After high school, Jones worked as a restaurant manager and cosmetologist. Unable to support her family on her income, she began selling coke and crack in the Dallas area. In 1999, at age 32, Jones was found guilty of taking part in a conspiracy to sell crack, and sentenced to life. Jones received such a harsh sentence because she allegedly carried a gun when she went to buy cocaine from her supplier; because the court considered her a "leader" of the ring; and because she claimed innocence. Her co-conspirators got sentences that ranged between five and 19 years. Jones' daughter, who was eight when Sharanda went to prison, is now an adult.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/4_1.png"></div> <p><strong>Barbara Scrivner:</strong> Scrivner is serving 30 years in federal prison for participating in a drug ring. Scrivner was molested as a child, and later fell into drugs and a string of abusive relationships. At age 26, in order to make ends meet, Scrivner started selling small amounts of meth as part of a drug ring. The other participants in the conspiracy were arrested in 1992, but Scrivner initially was spared because she only played a bit part in the ring. A year later, after she refused to testify against the other members, Scrivner was indicted and held accountable for 109 kilos of meth. Once behind bars, Scrivner plunged into depression and attempted suicide by jumping from a 40-foot prison building. She survived, and has since undergone rehab.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/5_0.png"></div> <p><strong>Timothy Tyler:</strong> Tyler is serving a mandatory life sentence for selling LSD. After high school, Tyler traveled around the country following the Grateful Dead, doing drugs, and being hospitalized for mental health problems. He was arrested a couple of times for selling. In 1992, Tyler sold LSD and marijuana to an informant, and was later charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute along with three other codefendants, one of whom was his father. Partly because of prior convictions, Tyler went to prison for life, while his codefendants only got five to ten years. His father died serving out his term.</p> </body></html> MoJo Crime and Justice Top Stories Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:32:04 +0000 Erika Eichelberger 250501 at http://www.motherjones.com Report: Solitary Confinement Used to Punish Female Prisoners Who Report Rape http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/report-solitary-confinement-used-pregnant-women-and-victims-sexual-assault <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>When an incarcerated pregnant woman in Illinois slept too long through mealtime, a guard decided to punish her by placing her in solitary confinement. While in isolation, the woman&mdash;who had a long history of depression&mdash;was denied access to her prenatal vitamins and was not given water for hours. She soon became highly anxious. This is one of the disturbing ways that US prisons treat incarcerated women who are pregnant, transgender, mentally ill, or who report that they are raped, according to a <a href="https://www.aclu.org/worse-second-class" target="_blank">new report</a> published Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).</p> <p>Many of the reasons women are placed in isolation are highly subjective, the reports notes: "Because many cases come down to the word of a prisoner against the word of a corrections officer, a guard&rsquo;s bad day can easily turn into a solitary confinement sentence for a prisoner for retaliatory reasons, such as a prisoner&rsquo;s filing a grievance."</p> <p>Solitary confinement, where prisoners are isolated for 22-24 hours a day with greatly reduced human contact and access to sunlight, is <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/10/solitary-confinement-shane-bauer" target="_blank">common practice in US prisons</a>, but its harmful effects are well-documented. A United Nations torture expert <a href="https://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=40097#.U1kJnOvc2BV" target="_blank">said in 2011</a> that solitary should never be used on people with mental disabilities, and should never last longer than 15 days. In February, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called for US prisons to stop using solitary confinement on vulnerable populations, <a href="http://www.durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=c684591f-9197-4306-8af0-f9914117f287" target="_blank">including pregnant women.</a> And recently, the Justice Department <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/doj-solitary-confinement-mentally-ill-children-ohio" target="_blank">sued</a> Ohio for placing mentally ill boys in solitary confinement for excessive amounts of time.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to the ACLU report, guards sometimes use solitary confinement to retaliate against women who report rape by corrections officers. As we <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2010/05/woman-prisoner-sent-solitary-reporting-rape-guard" target="_blank">reported</a> in 2010, Michelle Ortiz, who was serving one year at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2010/05/woman-prisoner-sent-solitary-reporting-rape-guard" target="_blank">alleged</a> that she was sexually assaulted multiple times by a guard. When she spoke out, she was allegedly placed in solitary confinement. In another case, a prisoner named Lisa Jaramillo served more than 100 days in solitary confinement for allegedly lying about incidents of sexual assault.</p> <p>"Women who have been sexually abused by prison guards are...forced to decide between reporting the attack and risking retaliation, or not reporting it and risking further assault," the report reads. The authors note that the lack of privacy in solitary cells can further victimize women. In solitary, a woman's attacker can closely watch her sleep, use the toilet, or undress.</p> </body></html> MoJo Civil Liberties Human Rights Prisons Top Stories Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:52:05 +0000 Dana Liebelson 250506 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 24, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-24-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0424-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 163 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, watch as MV-22B Ospreys take off from the flight deck of the USS Makin Island during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expeditionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) off the coast of San Diego, April 15, 2014. PMINT is a two-week predeployment training event focused on the combined capabilities of the MEU and Amphibious Ready Group, conducting amphibious operations, crisis response, and limited contingency operations. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13923000975/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Lance Cpl. Laura Y. Raga/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Thu, 24 Apr 2014 14:11:55 +0000 250516 at http://www.motherjones.com Koch-Linked Firm Devoted to Grooming "Electable" Candidates Signs Up Arkansas GOP Leader http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/koch-bruce-westerman-tom-cotton-arkansas-congress-aegis <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>In January, <em>Mother Jones</em> <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/koch-brothers-candidate-training-recruiting-aegis-strategic">broke the story</a> of one of the newest affiliates of Charles and David Koch's sprawling political machine, a consulting firm named <a href="http://aegis-strategic.com/">Aegis Strategic</a> created to identify, recruit, and groom free-market-minded candidates for elected office. Aegis <a href="http://aegis-strategic.com/services/">bills</a> itself as a one-stop shop for aspiring politicians, able to handle general consulting, fundraising, direct mail, social media, and more. The firm is run by <a href="http://www.jeffcrank.com">Jeff Crank</a>, a radio host and two-time congressional candidate who previously ran the Colorado chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers.</p> <p>When we reported on the firm earlier this year, Aegis Strategic had only one client: Marilinda Garcia, a New Hampshire state lawmaker running for Congress. But new campaign filings show that Aegis has since signed up at least one more congressional hopeful: <a href="http://www.brucewesterman.com">Bruce Westerman</a>, the former Republican majority leader of&nbsp;the Arkansas state House.</p> <p>Westerman is <a href="http://atr.rollcall.com/second-republican-enters-race-to-replace-cotton/">running to replace</a> Rep. Tom Cotton in Arkansas' 4th Congressional District. (Cotton is now running for Senate and hoping to oust the incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor. Americans for Prosperity has <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/mark-pryor-tom-cotton-arkansas-obamacare-affordable-care-act-elections-2014-104615.html" target="_blank">spent</a> <a href="http://www.arktimes.com/ArkansasBlog/archives/2014/04/01/pryor-camp-on-new-afp-anti-obamacare-ad-the-kochs-are-getting-desperate" target="_blank">millions</a> of dollars <a href="http://americansforprosperity.org/arkansas/newsroom/new-afp-ad-trucker-tells-sen-pryor-obamacare-hurts-ar-families/" target="_blank">attacking</a> Pryor on the airwaves.)&nbsp;Westerman's campaign paid Aegis $4,000 for strategy consulting in March, campaign records show. (In January, Westerman also <a href="https://twitter.com/bruce_westerman/status/424003865147502593">tweeted</a> a photo of himself with Brad Stevens, Aegis Strategic's director of candidate identification, with the message, "Caught up with part of campaign team.")</p> <p>According to Westerman's campaign website, he was&nbsp;the first GOPer to lead the Arkansas House in 138 years. And he wouldn't have been in that position without the help of the Kochs' political network,&nbsp;especially Americans for Prosperity. During the 2012 election cycle, AFP reportedly spent upwards of $1 million in Arkansas&nbsp;on mailers, a bus tour (featuring Cliff from the TV show <em>Cheers</em>), phone banking, and grassroots canvassing. That effort helped flip both the state House and Senate&nbsp;from Democratic to Republican control. AFP figured so prominently in the 2012 cycle that the <em>Arkansas Times</em> <a href="http://www.arktimes.com/arkansas/arkansans-of-the-year-koch-brothers/Content?oid=2624384&amp;showFullText=true">named</a> the Koch brothers "Arkansans of the Year."</p> <p>Both&nbsp;of&nbsp;Aegis' two congressional clients&nbsp;also have received financial support&nbsp;from Kochworld. Garcia received a $2,500 donation from Koch Industries' political action committee, two $2,500 checks from AFP-New Hampshire's Greg Moore, and $250 from Alan Philp, whom Aegis <a href="http://aegis-strategic.com/about/" target="_blank">lists</a> as its&nbsp;chief operating officer. Westerman also&nbsp;got a $250 check from Philp.</p> <p>Now, after AFP helped Westerman succeed in Arkansas, another offshoot of the Koch political operation is working to send him to Washington.</p> </body></html> MoJo Congress Dark Money Elections Money in Politics The Right Top Stories Thu, 24 Apr 2014 10:06:11 +0000 Andy Kroll 250431 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 23, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-23-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0423-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines with Battalion Landing Team, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, convoy their light armored vehicles across the beach as a Navy landing craft, air cushion with Assault Craft Unit 4 departs the beach of Sierra del Ret&Igrave;n, Spain, during Spanish Amphibious Bilateral Exercise 2014 Feb. 24, 2014. Spanish PHIBLEX is an annual exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional and personal relationships between U.S. forces and participating nations. The MEU is deployed to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group as a sea-based, expeditionary crisis response force capable of conducting amphibious missions across the full range of military operations. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13894052243/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Sgt. Austin Hazard/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Wed, 23 Apr 2014 14:07:13 +0000 250396 at http://www.motherjones.com How Taxpayers Subsidize the Multi-Million Dollar Salaries of Restaurant CEOs http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/restaurant-ceo-pay-subsidized-taxpayers <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>As the fight to raise the minimum wage has gained momentum, the restaurant industry has emerged as the biggest opponent. This is no surprise, since the industry claims the&nbsp;highest percentage of low-wage workers&mdash;60 percent&mdash;of any other business sector. Front-line fast-food workers earn so little money that about half of them rely on some form of public assistance, to the tune of <a href="http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/publiccosts/fast_food_poverty_wages.pdf" target="_blank">about $7 billion a year. </a>That hidden subsidy has helped boost restaurant industry profits to record highs. In 2013, the industry reaped&nbsp;$660 billion in profits, and it in turn channeled millions into backing efforts&nbsp;to block&nbsp;local governments from raising pay for low-wage workers and to keep the minimum wage for tipped workers at $2.13 an hour (exactly where it's been for the past 22 years). But public assistance programs aren't the only way taxpayers subsidize the restaurant industry.</p> <p>A <a href="http://www.ips-dc.org/reports/restaurant_industry_pay/" target="_blank">new report from the Institute for Policy Studies</a> finds that the public has been contributing to excessive CEO compensation as well, helping to widen the gap between the lowest-paid workers and their bosses. Thanks to a loophole in the tax code, corporations are allowed to deduct unlimited amounts of money from their tax bills for executive compensation, so long as it comes in the form of stock options or "performance pay." The loophole was the inadvertent result of an attempt by Congress to rein in CEO compensation by limiting the tax deduction for executive pay to $1 million a year. That law exempted pay that came&nbsp;in the form of stock options or performance pay.&nbsp;This&nbsp;loophole has proven lucrative for CEOs of all stripes, but it is particularly egregious in an industry&nbsp;that pays its workers so little that it is already heavily subsidized by taxpayers.&nbsp;</p> <p>According to IPS, the CEOs of the 20 largest companies that belong to the&nbsp;National Restaurant Association personally reaped more than $660 million over the past two years in performance pay&mdash;compensation that collectively ended up cutting their companies' tax bills by more than $230 million. That hefty subsidy is enough to cover the average cost of food stamps for 145,000 families for a year, according to IPS.</p> <p>Topping the list of executives raking in big bucks with help from the taxpayers is the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, who was paid $236 million in performance pay and other deductible compensation over the past two years, an outlay that saved the company $82 million in taxes. That $82 million tax subsidy could easily translate into a living wage pay raise for more than 30,000 baristas, who now make on average $8.79 an hour.</p> <p>There's also&nbsp;Yum! brands CEO David Novak, who over the past 14 years&nbsp;has been the beneficiary of a special tax-deferred retirement plan not available to ordinary workers. His subsidized retirement assets now top more than $232 million. Meanwhile, his employees at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC earn so little money that they're estimated to rely on <a href="http://www.nelp.org/page/-/rtmw/uploads/NELP-Super-Sizing-Public-Costs-Fast-Food-Report.pdf?nocdn=1" target="_blank">$650 million in public assistance every year</a>. IPS&nbsp;figures that Novak's retirement benefits alone could save taxpayers $61 million in public assistance costs annually if they&nbsp;were instead used to raise the pay of 16,000 of Yum!'s low-wage workers to $15 an hour, a move that would take about 9 percent of the company's employees off the public dole. Instead, though, Yum! officials have been working behind the scenes to fend off legislation that might <a href="http://www.prwatch.org/news/2011/10/11079/flu-burger-alec-wants-sick-people-serving-you-food" target="_blank">give their workers a paid sick day</a> now and then. No wonder fast-food workers are<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/fast-food-strike-minimum-wage" target="_blank"> going on strike</a>.</p> </body></html> MoJo Corporations Human Rights Income Inequality Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:35:23 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 250331 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 22, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-22-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0422-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Battalion Landing Team, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, participate in a Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise during Exercise Ssang Yong 14 at Su Seung-ri Range, Pohang, Republic of Korea, April 4, 2014. SY 14 is conducted annually in the Republic of Korea to enhance interoperability between U.S. and ROK forces by performing a full spectrum of amphibious operations while showcasing sea-based power projection in the pacific. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13893978465/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Lance Cpl. Andrew Kuppers/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Tue, 22 Apr 2014 14:04:49 +0000 250321 at http://www.motherjones.com Can the Democrats Mobilize Voters Without a 47% Video Moment? http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/can-democrats-mobilize-voters-without-47-video-moment <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>David Corn joined guest host Joy Reid on <a href="http://on.msnbc.com/1eY5F4p" target="_blank">MSNBC's Hardball</a> to discuss the Democrats' prospects in the upcoming midterm elections. Historically the Democratic coalition doesn't show up for midterm elections. Can the Dems use the Koch Bros to galvanize voters? How can the party attach the general issue of inequality to specific state races?</p> <p><iframe border="no" height="497" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hardball_1dems_140421" width="630"></iframe></p> <p><em>David Corn is </em>Mother Jones<em>' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories, <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/authors/david-corn">click here</a>. He's also on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/davidcorndc">Twitter</a> and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/davidcorndc">Facebook</a>.</em></p> </body></html> MoJo Video Elections Tue, 22 Apr 2014 10:00:19 +0000 250311 at http://www.motherjones.com READ: Conspiracy Theorist Dick Morris Blasts Clinton Conspiracy Theorists in Unsealed '95 Memo http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/dick-morris-conspiracy-bill-clinton-archive <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Dick Morris, the one-time adviser to President Bill Clinton, has carved out a strange, multi-faceted career in recent years, engaging in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/10/dick-morris-super-pac" target="_blank">questionable political dealings</a>, pitching misguided punditry (he <a href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/11/05/dick_morris_stands_by_prediction_romney_will_win_325_electoral_votes.html" target="_blank">predicted</a> Mitt Romney would win in a landslide&nbsp;in 2012), and peddling conspiracy theories. On his website, Morris <a href="http://www.dickmorris.com/kennedy-assassination-a-coup-detat-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/">argues</a> that the CIA, FBI, and the mob were behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He <a href="http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/18/the-cynicism-of-dick-morris">co-wrote a book</a> pushing right-wing conspiracy theories&nbsp;about the United Nations, international agencies, and the like. ("Black helicopters is the crazy word for the UN invading the United States," Morris <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2012/08/10/dick-morris-new-book-is-called-here-come-the-bl/189236" target="_blank">said</a> in previewing the book. "But it's really going to happen.")&nbsp;He's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dickmorris.com/the-irs-smoking-gun-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/" target="_blank">banged</a> the IRS-scandal drum, insisting that Obama was secretly behind the agency's supposed scrutiny of conservative groups. He&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dickmorris.com/the-real-story-of-benghazi-dick-morris-tv-lunch-alert/">pushed</a> anti-Obama Benghazi theories. He <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/04/03/foxs-morris-reportedly-says-trumps-birther-clai/178259">backed</a> Donald Trump's birther talk.</p> <p>Morris wasn't always this, uh, unconventional. In fact, in a <a href="https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/1145793-dick-morris-may-1995-memo.html" target="_blank">newly released memo</a> from Clinton's presidential archives, Morris advised the president to call out the conspiracy theorists of the 1990s and to combat the widespread right-wing paranoia of that time&mdash;the same sort of paranoia that Morris now exploits to make a buck.</p> <p>Morris' May 1995 memo offered comments on a speech Clinton was to give at Michigan State University. It was just two weeks&nbsp;after the <a href="http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/oklahoma-city-bombing" target="_blank">Oklahoma City bombing</a>, and Morris urged the president to take a tough line against the right-wing militia crowd and those conservatives who had been asserting that the federal government was encroaching on their lives and eviscerating their civil liberties. Such incendiary rhetoric had been on the rise for several years, and the Oklahoma City attack was seen by some political observers as the culmination of this anti-government campaign.</p> <p>"I'd propose tougher language," Morris wrote. He suggested these lines: "How dare you say that the government is in a conspiracy to take your freedom. This is the government you helped elect and you can change... How dare you appropriate to your paranoid ways, our scared national symbols... How dare you invoke the Founding Fathers who created the elective government you claim as you persecutor."</p> <p>Clinton ended up using several of Morris' suggestions in his speech. "How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on earth live in tyranny?" Clinton <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/06/us/terror-in-oklahoma-the-president-clinton-assails-the-preachings-of-the-militias.html" target="_blank">asked</a>. "How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes?"</p> <p>Read the full memo:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1145793-dick-morris-may-1995-memo">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1145793-dick-morris-may-1995-memo.js", { width: 630, height: 600, sidebar: false, text: false, pdf: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1145793-dick-morris-may-1995-memo" }); </script> </body></html> MoJo Congress Elections The Right Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:15:41 +0000 Andy Kroll 250251 at http://www.motherjones.com Cardinal Defends Hobby Lobby: "All You Have to Do Is Walk into a 7-11" for Contraceptives http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/timothy-dolan-defends-hobby-lobby-7-11-contraceptives <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p class="rtecenter"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" background="#000000" flashvars="pType=embed&amp;si=254&amp;pid=vT5LesZ8cm3D&amp;url=http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/cardinal-dolan-on-the-secret-behind-pope-francis-popularity" height="279" salign="lt" scale="noscale" src="http://www.cbsnews.com/common/video/cbsnews_player.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425"></embed></p> <p>On Sunday, New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/nyregion/cardinal-timothy-m-dolan-urges-catholics-to-become-more-politically-active.html?ref=timothymdolan" target="_blank">culture warrior extraordinaire</a>, made a curious argument for why the Supreme Court should <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/hobby-lobby-supreme-court-obamacare" target="_blank">allow Hobby Lobby</a> to eliminate the morning-after pill from its employee health care plan: if you want contraceptives, "all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them."</p> <p>The East Coast's top Catholic made his comments Sunday <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/cardinal-dolan-on-the-secret-behind-pope-francis-popularity/" target="_blank">on CBS's <em>Face the Nation</em></a>. "I think they're just true Americans," he told host Norah O&rsquo;Donnell of Hobby Lobby's owners, who claim that providing emergency contraceptive pills violates their religious beliefs. "Is the ability to buy contraceptives, that are now widely available&mdash;my Lord, all you have to do is walk into a 7-11 or any shop on any street in America and have access to them&mdash;is that right to access those and have them paid for, is that such a towering good that it would suffocate the rights of conscience?"</p> <p>Couple of things:</p> <ul> <li>The owners of Hobby Lobby are proposing to eliminate one kind of contraception from the company's employee health care plans: the morning-after pill. The Greens, who own the company, do not have a problem with <em>all</em> contraception. In fact, the company plan still covers birth control pills.</li> <li>Birth control pills are a form of contraception that <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.html" target="_blank">isn't available</a> without a prescription. They are not sold on any shop on any street in America.</li> <li>If Dolan is talking about <em>emergency</em> contraception, we would note that only <a href="https://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/birth-control-methods.html" target="_blank">one type of morning-after pill</a> for sale in the US without a prescription: Plan B One Step and its generics.</li> <li>These are also not sold on any shop on any street in America.</li> <li>These are not sold at 7-11.</li> </ul> <p>It's almost as if Dolan doesn't know very much about the contraceptives he opposes. Either that, or he hasn't been to a 7-11 since giving up Go-Go Taquitos for Lent.</p> </body></html> MoJo Religion Reproductive Rights The Right Top Stories Mon, 21 Apr 2014 14:47:47 +0000 Molly Redden 250246 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 21, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-21-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0421-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>FORT CARSON, Colo. - A fireball engulfs a mortar round, March 19, 2014, during a mortar live-fire exercise. Soldiers of the 4th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, conducted mortar training as part of gunnery training and certifications executed by units across 3rd ABCT. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/13746968213/" target="_blank">U.S. Army photo</a> by Staff Sgt. Grady Jones, 3rd ABCT Public Affairs, 4th Inf. Div.)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:58:03 +0000 250241 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Senate Candidate Endorses a 9/11 Truther's Questions: "Things Like This Have to Be Asked" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/greg-brannon-rand-paul-9-11-truther <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>In 2012, Greg Brannon, who is now a North Carolina Republican Senate candidate, wouldn't say whether he thought the attacks on September 11, 2001, were an inside job&mdash;but, he said, "Things like this have to be asked."</p> <p>Brannon, an OB-GYN endorsed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and a leading contender in the GOP primary to challenge Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), <a href="http://billlumaye.blogspot.com/2012/11/dr-greg-brannon-on-constitution.html">made that comment</a> as a guest on a local conservative talk show. At the time, Brannon was running Founder's Truth, a North Carolina tea party organization. A caller offered up a conspiracy theory about September 11, and as the host, Bill LuMaye, tried to redirect the conversation, Brannon answered:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>John, caller: </strong>I'm a 9/11 truther. And I had a friend of mine&hellip;tell me, look on the internet, Google "the Pentagon" and show me where the plane hit the Pentagon. Where is the plane? There's all kinds of pictures of that building smoldering, and fire trucks everywhere. There's no plane. So I did research on the size of planes, of the engines that ran this plane. These things are 12,000 pounds, these engines that would have flown off&mdash;that's six tons&mdash;and put a hole in something. There's nothing there.</p> <p><strong>Bill LuMaye:</strong> Well, without getting into&mdash;</p> <p><strong>John:</strong> There's a hole in the building and there's no broken glass.</p> <p><strong>LuMaye:</strong> Well, I'd rather not get into a discussion on whether 9/11 was an inside job or not. I really, I mean, we can save that for another day, I have no problem with that, it's just&mdash;</p> <p><strong>Greg Brannon:</strong> These questions, again, actually, that's what [9/11 commission vice-chair] Lee Hamilton said. And he just said, there's other questions that need answering. The guy who got all the information&hellip;a Democrat and a Republican, were the co-chairmen of the 9/11 commission, and when they got done, they did not put their stamp of approval on the commission. They said, 'There's data that we did not put in there.' So things like this have to be asked.</p> <p><strong>LuMaye: </strong>Well, I appreciate your call, John.</p> <p><strong>Brannon: </strong>Thanks, John.</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/145380222%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-VxePM&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>It's true that Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission, said that the commission's investigation of the September 11 plot was incomplete. But their <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/04/AR2006080401026_pf.html">complaint</a> was that government agencies blocked the commission from assessing how badly prepared the United States was for the attacks, and which US agencies were responsible for failing to prevent the attacks&mdash;not that the US was hiding its own involvement.</p> </body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/mojo/2014/04/greg-brannon-rand-paul-9-11-truther"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> MoJo Elections The Right Top Stories Embarrassing and Ridiculous Things Said by 2014 Candidates Mon, 21 Apr 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Molly Redden 250136 at http://www.motherjones.com Newly Released Clinton Doc: White House Aide Blasts Bill Clinton and Al Gore for "F***ing Stupid" Move http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/bill-clinton-white-house-carl-albert-funeral-email <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Among the trove of Clinton-era documents <a href="http://clintonlibrary.gov/previouslyrestricteddocs.html" target="_blank">released Friday afternoon</a> by the former president's library is an email from an angry White House aide who blasts President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore for not attending the funeral of Oklahoma Democrat Carl Albert. Known as the "Little Giant from Little Dixie," Albert, who stood five feet four-and-a-half inches tall, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2000/02/06/us/carl-bert-albert-a-powerful-democrat-in-congress-for-three-decades-is-dead-at-91.html">served as speaker</a> of the House of Representatives from 1971 to 1976.</p> <p>Albert died on February 4, 2000, and many Democratic politicians attended his funeral five days later. But Clinton and&nbsp;Gore skipped the event. In an email, Tim Emrich, who worked on the White House's scheduling team, said "it's fucking stupid" that Clinton and Gore didn't attend. Emrich elaborated: "It's stupid that neither BC nor AG is attending this funeral. ESPECIALLY AG, it's such an easy home run in the largest democratic part of the state."</p> <p>Here's the email:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/fucking-stupid-clinton-oklahoma-email.jpg"></div> </body></html> MoJo Elections Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:58:21 +0000 Andy Kroll 250171 at http://www.motherjones.com READ: The Clinton Administration's Internal Memo on the "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/hillary-clinton-white-house-conspiracy-report <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>In a 1995 internal memo, President Bill Clinton's White House Counsel's Office offered an in-depth analysis of the right-wing media mill that Hillary Clinton had dubbed the "vast right-wing conspiracy." Portions of the report, which was reported on by the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> and other outlets at the time, were included in a new trove of documents released to the public by the Clinton presidential library on Friday.</p> <p>The report traced the evolution of various Clinton scandals, such as Whitewater and the Gennifer Flowers affair allegations, from their origins at conservative&nbsp;think tanks&nbsp;or in British tabloids, until the point in which they entered the mainstream news ecosystem. Making matters even more complicated was new technology, the report explained:&nbsp;"[E]vidence exists that Republican staffers surf the internet, interacting with extremists in order to exchange the ideas and information." The administration even had a name for the process: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce."</p> <p>Per the document:</p> <blockquote> <p>The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce refers to the mode of communication employed by the right wing to convey their fringe stories into legitimate subjects of coverage by the mainstream media. This is how the stream works. Well funded right wing think tanks and individuals underwrite conservative newsletters and newspapers such as the <em>Western Journalism Center</em>, the <em>American Spectator</em> and the <em>Pittsburgh Tribune Review</em>. Next, the stories are re-printed on the internet where they are bounced all over the world. From the internet, the stories are bounced into the mainstream media through one of two ways: 1) The story will be picked up by the British tabloids and covered as a major story, from which the American right-of-center mainstream media (i.e. the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, <em>Washington Times</em> and <em>New York Post</em>) will then pick the story up; or 2) The story will be bounced directly from the internet to the right-of-center mainstream American media. After the mainstream right-of-center media covers the story, Congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a "real" story.</p> </blockquote> <p>Chief among the White House's frustrations was conservative reaction to the death of Vince Foster, the president's former chief of staff. Right-wing outlets alleged that the Clintons had murdered Foster (or hired someone to do it) and covered it up as a suicide. According to the report:</p> <blockquote> <p>The controversy surrounding the death of Vince Foster has been, in large part, the product of a well-financed right-wing conspiracy industry operation. The "Wizard of Oz" figure orchestrating the machinations of the conspiracy industry is a little-known recluse, Richard Mellon Scaife. Scaife uses his $800 million dollar inherited Mellon fortune to underwrite the Foster conspiracy industry. Scaife promotes the industry through his ownership of a small Pittsburgh newspaper, the<em> Tribune-Review</em>. Scaife's paper, under the direction of reporter Chris Ruddy, continually publishes stories regarding Foster's death. The stories are then reprinted in major newspapers all over the country in the form of paid advertisements. The Western Journalism Center (WJC), a non-profit conservative think tank, places the ads in these newspapers. The WJC receives much of its financial backing from Scaife.</p> </blockquote> <p>(Ruddy went on to found <em>Newsmax</em>, a conservative media outlet now <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/steve-malzberg-says-chelsea-clintons-pregnancy-was-deliberately-timed-benefit-hillarys-presi" target="_blank">promoting the theory</a> that Chelsea Clinton decided to have a baby in order to help her mother's 2016 presidential bid.)</p> <p>Read the document in all of its glory:</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-1115427-clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.pdf">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.txt">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>&nbsp;</p> <noscript> &Acirc;&nbsp;<a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.pdf">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (PDF)</a> &Acirc;&nbsp;<br> &Acirc;&nbsp;<a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1115427/clinton-the-communication-stream-of-conspiracy.txt">Clinton Memos: "The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce" (Text)</a> </noscript> </body></html> MoJo Elections Hillary Clinton Media Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:43:43 +0000 Tim Murphy 250146 at http://www.motherjones.com WATCH: GOP Candidate Whacks Obama Bobblehead in Weird New Ad http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/beau-mccoy-obama-bobblehead-ad <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <object height="354" width="630"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/nGFTRCSDVa8?hl=en_US&amp;version=3"> <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"> <param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"> <embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/v/nGFTRCSDVa8?hl=en_US&amp;version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="630"></embed></object> <p>Nebraska&nbsp;state Sen. Beau McCoy (R), who is campaigning for governor by driving around the state in a white pickup truck with a ladder rack, wants GOP primary voters to know that he'll push back against President Barack Obama's administration. In an ad that hit Nebraska airwaves this week, McCoy confronts an Obama bobblehead doll mounted on a fence post&mdash;and knocks it to the ground with a swift backhand. "More Obamacare in Nebraska? That's the last thing we need," he says before smacking&nbsp;the bobblehead.</p> <p>Then he rides off on his steed.</p> <p>McCoy&nbsp;is a serious underdog in the race to succeed GOP Gov. Dave Heineman. He grabbed just 4.7 percent in a February survey of the field by Harper Polling, well behind attorney general Jon Bruning and former Ameritrade COO Pete Ricketts, the son of big-time Republican <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/05/chicago-cubs-joe-ricketts-super-pac" target="_blank">super-PAC donor Joe Ricketts</a>.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Fri, 18 Apr 2014 15:18:38 +0000 Tim Murphy 250106 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 18, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-18-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0418-630x354.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>A Soldier guides the driver of an Avenger weapon system before they fired the .50-caliber machine gun April 8, 2014 as part of the Avenger Master Gunner Course at Fort Sill, Okla. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/soldiersmediacenter/13779845874/" target="_blank">Photo</a> by Marie Berberea, Cannoneer staff)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Fri, 18 Apr 2014 10:00:22 +0000 249851 at http://www.motherjones.com Corn on Hardball: The GOP's Dangerous Decision to Support and Encourage Cliven Bundy http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/david-corn-hardball-gop-dangerous-decision-support-cliven-bundy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Washington bureau chief David Corn spoke on MSNBC's "Hardball" about the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck" target="_blank">Right's support</a> of <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2014/04/cliven-bundy-exposes-cravenness-modern-right" target="_blank">Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy</a>, who has refused to pay standard grazing fees on federal land for the past 20 years. He pointed out the irony of the GOP supporting Bundy's fight for a free ride, as well as the danger of encouraging and validating potentially violent extremists.<br> &nbsp;</p> <p class="rtecenter"><iframe border="no" height="494" scrolling="no" src="http://player.theplatform.com/p/2E2eJC/EmbeddedOffSite?guid=n_hardball_2bundy_140416" width="630"></iframe></p> </body></html> MoJo Video Food and Ag The Right Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:11:54 +0000 250041 at http://www.motherjones.com Rand Paul Really Doesn't Want to Talk About His McConnell Endorsement http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/rand-paul-mcconnell-endorsement <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>A tea party revolutionary four years ago, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has bucked many of his old supporters by backing Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, in McConnell's primary against Matt Bevin, a hedge fund executive backed by the Senate Conservatives Fund. Why would Paul do such a thing? He has been cagey, to say the least. "He asked me when there was nobody else in the race, and I said yes," the junior senator <a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/rand-paul-mitch-mcconnell-reelection-glenn-beck-interview" target="_blank">told</a> Glenn Beck in February. Evidently even that was too verbose. Per the <a href="http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/local/x360404491/U-S-Sen-Rand-Paul-visits-Edmonton" target="_blank"><em>Glasgow (Ky.) Daily Times</em></a>, Paul has now taken his answer off the record:</p> <blockquote> <p>After addressing about 30 people who turned out to hear him, the senator opened the floor for questions.</p> <p>One constituent asked him why he came out in support of Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville.</p> <p>Paul declined to answer the question publicly, saying he would speak with her in private and explain his reason for supporting the senior senator.</p> </blockquote> <p>Paul family political guru Jesse Benton, who is now managing McConnell's re-election campaign, told a tea party activist in a <a href="http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2013/08/mitch-mcconnell-campaign-manager-im.html" target="_blank">secretly-recorded conversation</a> last year that, "between you and me, I'm sort of holdin' my nose for two years because what we're doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand in '16, so that's my long vision."</p> <p>One reason Paul might decide to keep his explanation private: His answer sounds a lot like Benton's.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:31:13 +0000 Tim Murphy 249986 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 17, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-17-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0417-630.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines put out a controlled fire on a mobile aircraft fire training device at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma April 7 during a visit from Girl Scouts. The firefighting display showed how the Marines respond to an emergency situation. The mission of Girl Scouts of America is to build the courage, confidence and character of girls, who can then make the world a better place, according to their website. The Marines are aircraft rescue and firefighting specialists with ARFF, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, MCAS Futenma, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13761993675/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:00:10 +0000 249846 at http://www.motherjones.com Federal Court Rules North Dakota's Extreme Abortion Ban Unconstitutional http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/north-dakota-abortion-fetal-heartbeat-ban-unconstitutional <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday, a federal judge blocked a North Dakota law that would have banned all abortions after a heartbeat is detectable in the fetus, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The judge, Daniel Hovland, called the ban&mdash;which passed last year and was immediately challenged by the <a href="http://www.redriverwomensclinic.com/" target="_blank">Red River Women's Clinic</a>, the only abortion provider in the state&mdash;"invalid and unconstitutional," and said it would impose an "undue burden on women seeking to obtain an abortion."</p> <p>The North Dakota law is <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/judge-north-dakota-abortion-law-unconstitutional-23348578" target="_blank">one of the most far-reaching</a> abortion bans in the country. Many women aren't aware that they are pregnant until well after six weeks into a pregnancy. Under the North Dakota law, those women wouldn't be able to seek abortions at all.</p> <p>North Dakota is one of several states that have pushed laws banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. In March, a federal judge struck down a <a href="http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/may/17/ark-heartbeat-abortion-law-blocked/" target="_blank">similar ban</a> Arkansas had passed last year. But losses in the courts haven't stopped these efforts from spreading&mdash;the Alabama House <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/04/alabama-abortion-bill_n_4900059.html" target="_blank">passed</a> a fetal heartbeat bill last month, and state legislatures in Wyoming, Mississippi, and Ohio have <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/01/31/1517821/fetal-heartbeat-bills-to-watch/" target="_blank">considered</a> similar legislation in the past year.</p> </body></html> MoJo Courts Health Health Care Reproductive Rights Sex and Gender Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:34:52 +0000 Nina Liss-Schultz 249956 at http://www.motherjones.com Martinez Aide Who Said Latino Icon "Sounds Like a Retard" Now Works at Agency Serving Mentally Disabled http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/matt-kennicott-ben-lujan-retard <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday, <em>Mother Jones</em> published a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">story</a> about New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, a rising GOP star, that draws on previously unreleased audio recordings from her 2010 campaign.</p> <p>In one of the many unflattering moments revealed by the tapes, Matt Kennicott, then Martinez's deputy campaign manager and policy director, comments on the accent of former House speaker Ben Luj&aacute;n, saying, "Somebody told me he's absolutely eloquent in Spanish, but his English? He sounds like a retard."</p> <p>As it turns out, Matt Kennicott now works for a state agency charged with providing key services to people with mental disabilities. As the Communications Director for New Mexico's <a href="http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/About_the_Department.aspx" target="_blank">Human Services Department (HSD)</a>, Kennicott is, according to his LinkedIn account, responsible for developing "messaging and talking points for various program areas." He also serves as the "chief negotiator on legislative priorities around health care and public assistance policy."</p> <p>The department's $4.97 billion budget is the largest of any state agency. It oversees mental health services for 85,000 New Mexicans, including programs for low-income individuals with disabilities and behavioral health care for people with mental illness.</p> <p>Lawrence Rael, a Democrat hoping to unseat Martinez in 2014, issued a <a href="http://roundhouseroundup.blogspot.com/2014/04/mother-jones-scorches-gov-susana.html" target="_blank">statement</a> shortly after the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">story</a> was published calling Martinez's decision to hire Kennicott at HSD "unconscionable." Kennicott did not respond to multiple requests from <em>Mother Jones</em> to comment on the clip.</p> <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/144255338&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Health Health Care The Right Wed, 16 Apr 2014 20:10:09 +0000 Julia Lurie 249961 at http://www.motherjones.com GOP Congressional Candidate Shoots Down Drone in New Ad http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/montana-matt-rosendale-drone <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/dOoXJI4vBns" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>In Montana congressional candidate Matt Rosendale's newest ad, which you can you can watch above, Rosendale aims a sighted rifle at a "government drone" and blows it away, before sending a message to the Obama administration: "Spying on our citizens&mdash;that's just wrong."</p> <p>This isn't the first attempt by Rosendale, a state representative who is seeking the GOP nomination to replace Rep. Steve Daines in Congress next fall, to make nice with his state's far-right elements. In December <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/01/matt-rosendale-montana-rothschilds-rockefellers" target="_blank">Rosendale attended</a> an event held by a group called Defend Rural America, whose founder, Kirk MacKenzie, called environmentalists "domestic terrorists." And although this is the first time a candidate has pretended to shoot down a drone, politicians <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/06/brief-history-politicians-blowing-things" target="_blank">have a long history</a> of blowing things up in campaign ads. In 2008, Montana Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer used a double-barreled shotgun to blast the federal Real ID law into tiny bits.</p> <p>As always, <em>Mother Jones</em> reminds you that if you must ritually annihilate a federal policy in a campaign ad, you should at least wear safety goggles and ear plugs.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:52:29 +0000 Tim Murphy 249931 at http://www.motherjones.com Gov. Susana Martinez Reacts to Mother Jones Story: "One of the Most Desperate and Despicable Attacks" http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/susana-martinez-new-mexico-responds-mother-jones <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>On Wednesday morning, <em>Mother Jones</em> published <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/04/governor-susana-martinez-new-mexico-2016" target="_blank">a cover story</a> about New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, a rising star in the Republican Party, that draws&nbsp;on <a href="https://soundcloud.com/mother-jones/sets/martinez" target="_blank">previously unreleased audio recordings</a>, emails, and text messages. In these audio tapes, she and her aides use crude and often offensive language when referring to political opponents.&nbsp;Martinez's reelection campaign immediately responded.</p> <p>In an email blast to supporters, Martinez attacked&nbsp;the messenger, calling <em>Mother Jones</em> a "tabloid" and "one of the most radically liberal publications in the country." Martinez accused <em>Mother Jones</em> of "peddling false, personal attacks against me, using stolen audiotapes from our debate prep sessions four years ago." She claimed&nbsp;that "this shows just how far the Left is willing to go to stop reforms in New Mexico." In the email, Martinez does admit to calling 2010 Democratic opponent&nbsp;Diane Denish&nbsp;"the B-word," adding, "I admit it&mdash;I've had to fund the cuss jar a few times in my life." Her email ends with a plea for a campaign contribution.</p> <p>Her email neglects to address several parts of the story, such as the reports that Martinez's top adviser, Jay McCleskey, wrote "I HATE THAT FUCKING BITCH!" about a fellow GOP pol, and that a former Martinez adviser mocked New Mexico political icon Ben Luj&aacute;n for his English-speaking abilities, saying he "sounds like a retard."</p> <p>Martinez's campaign has also created a <a href="http://www.susanamartinez.com/landing/liberal-media/?utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=t.co&amp;utm_campaign=20140416_sm-lb-motherjonestw4.16_twitter&amp;utm_content=sm">petition</a> describing <em>Mother Jones</em> as "the far-left's premier magazine" and calls the story "one of the most desperate and despicable attacks to date." The Martinez campaign's message goes on to ask supporters to sign&nbsp;a petition ostensibly to "show the D.C. liberal media that their desperate attacks have no place in our state."</p> <p>Here's the petition:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/martinez-petition-630.jpg"></div> <p>Martinez's campaign has made full use of social media in its pushback, buying a promoted tweet on Twitter urging people to "stand with me":</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/martinez-promoted-tweet-response.jpg"></div> <p>Similarly, she&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/SusanaMartinezFan">asked&nbsp;her Facebook friends</a> to "stand with me against the D.C. liberal media and show them that their Washington-style attacks have no place in our state."</p> <p>Martinez did retweet a link to <em>Mother Jones</em>' story that was tweeted by Buzzfeed writer McKay Coppins&mdash;only to <a href="http://politwoops.sunlightfoundation.com/tweet/456434221456687104">delete her tweet</a> 14 seconds later.</p> </body></html> MoJo Elections The Right Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:16:54 +0000 Andy Kroll 249941 at http://www.motherjones.com We're Still at War: Photo of the Day for April 16, 2014 http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/were-still-war-photo-day-april-16-2014 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <div class="inline inline-left" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/0416-630x354.jpg"></div> <div id="meta"> <div class="photo-desc" id="description_div"> <p class="rtecenter"><em>Marines with the Maritime Raid Force, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit prepare to enter the well deck aboard the USS San Diego during Amphibious Squadron Marine Expedtionary Unit Integration Training (PMINT) off the coast of San Diego, Calif. April 8, 2014. PMINT is the first at-sea event in the MEU&rsquo;s predeployment training program at which they have the opportunity to conduct amphibious based operations while embarked on a ship. (<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marine_corps/13780839594/" target="_blank">U.S. Marine Corps photo</a> by Cpl. Demetrius Morgan/Released)</em></p> </div> </div> </body></html> MoJo Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:00:08 +0000 249836 at http://www.motherjones.com Everyone on the Far Right Loves Militia-Backed Rancher Cliven Bundy—Except Glenn Beck http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2014/04/right-wing-loves-militia-rancher-cliven-bundy-except-glenn-beck <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body> <p>Conservative activists and media outlets have generally embraced the cause of Cliven Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher who inspired a gang of protesters&mdash;many of them armed&mdash;to face off with federal law enforcement this weekend. But one figure on the right has taken a surprising stand against Bundy's supporters: former Fox News host Glenn Beck.</p> <p>On Saturday, a large group of anti-government protesters converged on a Bureau of Land Management base camp in rural Nevada to protest the federal government's seizure of Bundy's cows. Bundy had for years grazed hundreds of cattle on protected lands controlled by the federal government and refused to pay the resulting court-ordered fines. This month, after nearly 20 years of consistently beating Bundy in court, the BLM moved to confiscate his cattle. A judge ordered Bundy not to physically interfere. In response, Bundy assembled protesters to confront the BLM officers who were holding his livestock.</p> <p>After a dramatic, two-day standoff, federal officers backed down and handed the cows over to Bundy to avoid violence. Astonishing <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/nevada-rancher-feds-face-over-cattle-n79271" target="_blank">photos from the scene</a> show protesters perched on a highway overpass and hunkered down in the brush with long-range weapons; one photo appears to show a man on the bridge <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/" target="_blank">aiming down at the BLM base camp.</a></p> <p>The involvement of armed militiamen&mdash;and Bundy's promise to "do whatever it takes" to reclaim his cattle&mdash;doesn't appear to phase conservative activists who have turned Bundy into a cause c&eacute;l&egrave;bre. Before this weekend's confrontation, <em>National Review Online</em>, <em>Fox &amp; Friends, </em>and <em>American</em><em> Thinker</em> all blamed the government for <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/10/right-wing-media-are-throwing-gas-on-a-ranchers/198841" target="_blank">mounting tensions</a>. Two groups affiliated with Americans for Prosperity, a political organization funded primarily by the Koch brothers, spent the weekend tweeting their support for Bundy, <em>Media Matters</em> <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/11/feds-turn-from-landlords-to-warlords-koch-group/198857" target="_blank">reported</a><em>.</em> Sean Hannity, who on Friday <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=armAcbEO1PE#t=255" target="_blank">hailed Bundy</a> as a capitalist hero&mdash;"When your cattle graze there, that keeps the price of meat down for every American consumer"&mdash;invited Bundy back on the air Monday for <a href="http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/04/14/hannity-gives-platform-for-lawless-rancher-to-d/198892" target="_blank">a second, easygoing interview</a> in which he made only glancing reference to the armed confrontation.</p> <p>Beck, though, in an episode of his show broadcast Monday, said he fully supports Bundy's principles but <a href="http://www.glennbeck.com/2014/04/14/inciting-violence-doesnt-solve-anything-glenn-denounces-violence-in-response-to-nevada-ranch-conflict/" target="_blank">couldn't look past</a> his supporters:</p> <blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">The problem here is that Bundy hasn't been all that clear on this&hellip;He's a rancher. And so he's not used to making his sound bite case in this sound bite world. But the problem with that lack of clarity is some of the supporters that he's attracting. He is drawing in the decent, small government proponents from groups such as the tea party&hellip;I know there's some people that listen [to] and watch me. And they are sick of the government regulations hampering themselves, small businesses, farming, I'm with you on that.</p> <p class="rteindent1">But when you're not really super clear, it also draws another element, drawing in the violent, anti-government groups. The, I think, right's version of Occupy Wall Street. We did some research online on PsyID [a social-media analysis tool] today, and found that there's about 10 to 15 percent of the people who are talking about this online that are truly frightening. They don't care what the facts are&mdash;they just want a fight. And you see it in some of these pictures.</p> </blockquote> <p>At this point, video played behind Beck of protesters scuffling with federal officers.</p> <blockquote> <p class="rteindent1">I don't know who these people are. They all might be great. But here they are, they're acting, they're enraged, they're enraged. And they're confronting the federal government officials. I get that. But this is not the way to win&hellip;I want to be clear, 100 percent clean on one thing all of us should agree on, and unfortunately, I don't believe we do, both left and right. And that is, we need to agree on, we condemn those who use violence. Inciting violence doesn't solve anything. I vehemently denounce anyone who even hints at such tactics&hellip;People can spot anger and vengeance from a mile away. And when I saw that video where they were lunging and jumping at the agents, calling them scumbags, I thought, this is our side's Occupy Wall Street. It's happening all over again, and it will end the same way.</p> </blockquote> <p>Beck didn't specifically call out the armed protesters, and the<em> Blaze</em>, a website that is part of his media empire, <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/04/10/right-wing-media-are-throwing-gas-on-a-ranchers/198841" target="_blank">played up</a> the federal government's role in bringing the crisis to a head. Beck claims the facts of the federal government's actions against Bundy are "convoluted" (when they're <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/" target="_blank">pretty well established</a>) and equates heavily armed protesters with Occupy Wall Street. But there's no doubt that he took a stand against the extreme elements among Bundy's supporters. And when Glenn Beck approximates a reasonable position on the same night that a blood moon rises, you've got to second-guess the folks who say <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/04/blood-moon-end-of-days-john-hagee" target="_blank">the world isn't coming to an end</a>.</p> </body></html> MoJo The Right Top Stories Tue, 15 Apr 2014 21:36:32 +0000 Molly Redden 249866 at http://www.motherjones.com