Political MoJo

Watch the Video of President Obama's 2015 State of the Union Right Here

| Tue Jan. 20, 2015 9:36 PM EST

The early news was that President Obama is going to announce a small tax increase that will mostly affect the very wealthy. Kevin Drum thinks this sort of thing will play well and Obama's approval rating surge is likely to continue. Meanwhile, after we pointed out some of the problems with the Spanish-language version of the GOP's rebuttal to the State of the Union being a literal translation of Iowa Senator and English-only advocate Joni Ernst's planned remarks, the party is now saying that Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) will give his own, unique Spanish speech. So that happened. Here's everything you should probably know about Joni Ernst.

And, on cue, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is already making an ass of himself.

Stick around after the speech for David Corn's wrap-up article. They're usually really good.

You can find the full text of the speech here.

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This Is an Early Contender for the Worst #SOTU Tweet of the Night

| Tue Jan. 20, 2015 8:43 PM EST

If you are one of those people who enjoys watching congressmen and women make fools of themselves—and you are—then things like the State of the Union are precious delicacies to be savored. The stately class dolls themselves in hashtags and tweets their "smart takes" and insightful "jokes" out into the world so they can inevitably get pulled over by the information superhighway police for being despicable, stupid, and possibly racist.

The SOTU isn't for a few more hours but we've already got an early contender for the night's worst tweet from a sitting member of Congress. Quoth Rep. Steve King (R-Pleasantville):

"A deportable"!

 

GOP's Big Spanish SOTU Response Will Be a Translation of English-Only Advocate Joni Ernst's Speech

| Tue Jan. 20, 2015 12:33 PM EST

Each year, the opposition party taps a member to deliver a response to the president's State of the Union address. For Tuesday night's speech—President Barack Obama's sixth—Republicans have awarded this duty to Iowa freshman Sen. Joni Ernst, who rose to prominence last spring when she released a campaign ad about castrating a pig.

The GOP has also announced it will be offering a Spanish-language rebuttal, which will be delivered tonight by freshman Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, a young conservative from a diverse Miami congressional district. But there's a wrinkle. According to a press release from the House Republicans, Curbelo will not be sharing his own thoughts and words with the public. Instead, he will only be reading a Spanish translation of Ernst's speech.

Curbelo's office confirmed that he will not be delivering his own remarks.

By the way, Ernst has endorsed English as a national language and once sued Iowa's secretary of state for offering voting forms in languages other than English. Her office did not respond to requests for comment.

Curbelo has broken with his own party on immigration to support a path to citizenship for undocumented residents. Ernst has repeatedly expressed opposition to "amnesty."

Update: Following the publication of this article, House Republicans changed their tune. Read more here.

The Muslim Hero Who Saved Lives at a Paris Kosher Market Is Being Awarded French Citizenship

| Thu Jan. 15, 2015 1:05 PM EST

Lassana Bathily, the Muslim man from Mali who saved the lives of several customers during last week's hostage situation at a kosher supermarket in Paris, will be awarded French citizenship for his heroic efforts. 

The news comes as many, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have expressed their gratitude to Bathily for his bravery. Nearly 300,000 people signed a petition calling for his citizenship. 

On Friday, Bathily, who works as an assistant at the market, risked his own life by ushering a group of customers downstairs and hiding them in the market's walk-in freezer. Needing to inform police of the situation, he managed to exit through the basement. Once out, however, police ordered him to lie down, in fear Bathily was working with the gunman inside. After he was able to convince authorities he was not working with the gunman, Bathily provided the necessary details and key to the market's metal blinds, both of which helped rescue the fifteen people hiding in the freezer. 

"Yes, I aided Jews,” Bathily said in an interview. "We’re brothers. It’s not a question of Jews, Christians, or Muslims. We’re all in the same boat. We need to help each other to get out of this crisis."

Bathily has reportedly lived in France since 2006.  

Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly stated that Bathily won the Legion d'Honneur.

Watch David Corn on Mitt Romney's Likely 2016 Run

Tue Jan. 13, 2015 1:08 PM EST

Mother Jones Washington bureau chief David Corn stopped by MSNBC's Hardball Monday night to discuss Mitt Romney's possible presidential bid.
 

Mitt vs. Jeb: Battle of the GOP Establishment Candidates

Mon Jan. 12, 2015 9:41 PM EST

David Corn and Robert Costa joined host Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball to discuss the recent news that Mitt Romney is probably running for president, again. LOL. You'll recall what happened when David Corn reported on the most recent failed Romney campaign. Anyways, we've got a deep archive of great reporting on Mitt and we'll have lots more to come. Stay tuned.

David Corn is Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories, click here. He's also on Twitter.

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8 Romney GIFs That Will Make You LOL

| Mon Jan. 12, 2015 7:42 PM EST

1. Mitt

New York

2. Mitt Romney

Huffington Post

3. Mitt Romney is

Giphy

4. Mitt Romney is running

Giphy

5. Mitt Romney is running for

Giphy

6. Mitt Romney is running for Spiderman

Buzzfeed

7. Mitt Romney is running for Spiderman president

Giphy

8. Mitt Romney is running for Spiderman president (probably)

Giphy

Mitt Romney Is Probably Running for President. Here Are All the Times He Said He Wouldn't.

| Mon Jan. 12, 2015 5:51 PM EST

Last Friday, Mitt Romney confirmed that he's considering running for president once more in 2016. On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Romney is quickly rebuilding his campaign network for an "almost certain" run. Here's a look at the evolution of Romney's statements regarding a possible third presidential run:

November 7, 2012: Romney concedes the election to President Obama. "I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction," he said to those gathered in his Boston headquarters.  He was reportedly so shocked by the loss that he had not prepared a concession speech.

March 3, 2013: In his first interview since losing the election, Romney says, "It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done." On running in 2016: "I'm not doing it again," he declares.

January 18, 2014: In an interview with the New York Times, Romney was emphatic: "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. People are always gracious and say, 'Oh, you should run again.' I'm not running again."

March 23, 2014: On CBS's Face the Nation, he again indicates he has no interest in another run: "We have a very strong field of leaders who could become our nominee…I wholly anticipate that I'll be supporting one of them very vigorously."

June 15, 2014: On Meet the Press, David Gregory asks Romney about speculation within political circles of a "Draft Romney" movement. "I'm not running and talk of the draft is kind of silly," he says.

August 26, 2014: In a radio interview, Romney is slightly less certain about not running, suggesting there might be a shift in his thinking. "You know, circumstances can change, but I'm just not going to let my head go there," he remarks.

September 30, 2014: The New York Times Magazine runs a profile of Romney that is heavy on 2016 talk. "We've got a lot of people looking at the race," he says. "We'll see what happens." A lot of people? He did not specify what that meant.

October 7, 2014: With rumors flying that he would run if Jeb Bush, another establishment moderate, declines to enter the race, Romney doubles down in a Bloomberg Politics interview on his previous ain't-gonna-do-it remarks: "I'm not running, I'm not planning on running, and I've got nothing new on that story."

January 9: At a private meeting with former donors in Manhattan, Romney shows more leg. "Everybody in here can go tell your friends that I'm considering a run," he says. And that one statement was enough to trigger a frenzy among the politerati.

In case you forgot, here's the secretly recorded video that was the most talked-about news of Romney's 2012 campaign:

Check Out This Amazing Presidential Debate Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush Just Had

| Fri Jan. 9, 2015 6:43 PM EST

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mitt Romney may be running for president again in 2016. Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also considering a run! Mother Jones DC bureau chief David Corn, who broke the news of this little video back in 2012, had a couple of thoughts about how that battle for the GOP nomination might play out:

We can't wait. 

WSJ: Mitt Romney Considering '16 Presidential Bid

| Fri Jan. 9, 2015 6:01 PM EST

Wow! The Wall Street Journal just ripped open everyone's Friday afternoon with this shocking, game-changing scoop:

This would be a good time to watch the 2014 Netflix documentary Mitt, which was the first time Romney signaled that he'd run again.

Have a good weekend, everyone.