MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones Mother Jones logo en GOP Candidate's Twitter Feed Calls Neo-Confederate Website an "Interesting Read" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>In a race that <a href="" target="_blank">could decide which party controls the Colorado state senate</a>, Republican state senate candidate Don Suppes is fending off <a href="" target="_blank">accusations</a> that his campaign tweeted out a link to a <a href="" target="_blank">neo-Confederate website</a> that denigrates gay people, women, and African-Americans, and complains that white people can't use the N-word.</p> <p>Colorado Democrats are circulating this screenshot of the tweet, dated May 26, in which the Suppes campaign shares a link to the website <a href="" target="_blank"></a>, with the words, "Interesting read&hellip;"</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Suppes-Twitter.jpg"></div> <p>Suppes, through a campaign spokesman, claims the Twitter account <a href="" target="_blank">was hacked</a>. Both his official campaign account and his personal Twitter account have been deactivated.</p> <p>'s author goes by the name <a href="" target="_blank">Gen. Robert E. Lee</a>. A Confederate flag adorns the top of the site, and the site's tagline is, "The Old South's Gonna Rise Again." On the day the Suppes campaign's Twitter account posted the link, the blog entry displayed on the website's home page was&nbsp;<a href=";p=&amp;search=" target="_blank">titled</a> "Islam's Threat To America: An Unintended Consequence Of Cultural Marxism." In the post, Gen. Lee calls Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton "vermin." "Muslims are demanding and receiving far more special treatment than other minorities," he adds. "Broadly speaking there is very little difference between the ultimate goal of Cultural Marxism and Islam."</p> <p>The author derides multiculturalism and progressivism as "euphemisms for Marxism" and defines political correctness as "an anti-Western hate filled ideology designed to divide and conquer by using man's natural divisions, e.g., color, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to foment, nurture and magnify strife between the groups. Their grain of commonality is disdain for the White male who is considered to epitomize evil."</p> <p>Tirades about political correctness are typical on In a February 25 <a href=";p=&amp;search=" target="_blank">post</a>, Gen. Lee complained about his inability to use certain words: "Homosexuals are now gay or folks with an alternative life style. Using the 'N' word uttered by a White is a societal taboo. Thug is considered offensive to blacks, regardless of how appropriate."</p> <p>"Critical Theory 'studies' are the breeding ground of Political Correctness," the author writes in an earlier <a href=";p=2&amp;search=" target="_blank">post</a>. "Included therein are: black studies; feminist studies; Muslim studies; gay studies; lesbian studies; transgender studies; Indian studies; and every other marginal group that claims to be oppressed or the subject of discrimination."</p> <p>Suppes is <a href="" target="_blank">the two-term mayor</a> of the 3,100-person town of Orchard City and runs a heating and cooling business. Democrats are also circulating a <a href="" target="_blank">video</a> of Suppes claiming that members of the US Senate were supporting UN plans to control parts of the United States. Suppes goes on to describe a plaque he saw on his vacation to Mexico bearing the number 21&mdash;the plaque is proof, he implies, that the UN has used "Agenda 21," a non-binding resolution that encourages sustainable growth, to encroach on sovereign nations; conservatives often describe Agenda 21 as a plan to evict US residents from rural communities and turn that land back into wilderness. "I do my homework," says Suppes. "If that makes me a conspiracy theorist, I'm sorry."</p> <p>Suppes is facing Democrat Kerry Donovan in the race for central Colorado's sprawling fifth Senate district. They are <a href="" target="_blank">vying to replace</a> a term-limited Democrat, and the outcome of the race may decide which party has a majority in the chamber. Colorado's state senate is now split along party lines 18-17, with Democrats controlling the majority. Democrats currently hold the state House by a comfortable margin, and the incumbent Democratic governor is <a href="" target="_blank">locked in a tight reelection battle</a>. Suppes enjoys strong support from the state's Republican leaders, including the backing of political action committee that <a href="" target="_blank">expects to spend $3 to $5 million</a> on a handful of competitive state Senate races.</p> <p>Suppes' campaign did not respond to requests for comment.</p></body></html> Politics Elections The Right Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:48:19 +0000 Molly Redden 260816 at We're Bombing Syria, Just Like Obama Said He Would <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>The front page is dominated almost entirely this morning by the news that we're bombing ISIS militants in Syria. I confess that this doesn't strike me as worthy of quite such breathless coverage. Two weeks ago President Obama said he was going to bomb Syria, and now he's doing it. Did anyone expect him not to follow through on this?</p> <p>But of course I get it. Bombs are headline generators whether they're expected or not. After reading all the reports, though, <a href="" target="_blank">Dan Drezner is pessimistic:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>I said last week that I&rsquo;d start making point predictions here. So, here goes: I&rsquo;m 70 percent certain that there will be no fundamental change in the Islamic State&rsquo;s hold on territory in Syria and Iraq for the rest of this calendar year.</p> </blockquote> <p>That's probably a good bet. This isn't because aerial campaigns have no value. Of course they do. It's because in most cases they have <em>limited</em> value unless they're used in support of ground troops with a well-defined mission. And so far, there's no well-defined mission and no one is committing ground troops to the fight. Presumably the new Iraqi government will send in troops eventually, and then we'll see whether our commitment of air resources was worthwhile. Until then we just won't know.</p> <p>As an aside, for the next few months I'd treat virtually every announcement from either ISIS or the Pentagon with extreme skepticism. Some of what they say may be true and some may not, but there's really no way to know which is which. We can parse all this stuff til the cows come home, but that won't change our fundamental ignorance. Don't take anything at face value no matter where it comes from.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Iraq Military Tue, 23 Sep 2014 14:23:09 +0000 Kevin Drum 260831 at Live: Inside the UN Climate Talks <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="354" scrolling="no" src=";autoStart=false&amp;secureConnections=true&amp;width=630&amp;height=354" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Climate Desk will be covering the UN climate conference throughout the day. Watch all the action above, and check out our live updates below.</p> <div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//;border=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//" target="_blank">View the story "Live: Will World Leaders Finally Confront the Climate Crisis?" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></body></html> Environment Climate Change Climate Desk International Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 12:32:26 +0000 James West, Tim McDonnell, and Jeremy Schulman 260821 at Chart: Happy Days Are Here Again—for the Superwealthy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/survival630x120.jpg"></div> <p>With Washington paralyzed on bread-and-butter issues and the midterms ahead, we put together a primer on the state of America's frozen paychecks. We'll be posting a new chart every day for the next couple of weeks. Today's chart: How the recovery left most Americans behind.</p> <p>The Great Recession officially ended <a href="" target="_blank">five years ago</a>, but that's news for millions of Americans: A stunning 95 percent of income growth since the recovery started has gone to the superwealthy. The top 1 percent has captured almost all post-recession income growth. Compare that with how they did during these historic booms:</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/whose-recovery630.gif"></div> <p><em>Sources: Boom and recovery gains, 1% gains: <a href="" target="_blank">Emmanuel Saez</a> and Thomas Piketty (<a href="" target="_blank">Excel</a>)</em>; average household income: <a href="" target="_blank">Census Bureau</a>.</p> <p><em>Illustrations and infographic design by </em>Mattias Mackler&acirc;&#128;&#139;</p> <p><em>Photos: Warner Bros; Peter Morgan/Reuters; Christoph Dernbach/DPA/ZumaPress; Steve Jennings/Wireimage/Getty Images; Bo Rader/</em>Witchita Eagle<em>/MCT/Getty Images; Kimberly White/Reuters</em></p></body></html> MoJo Charts Economy Income Inequality Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:45:05 +0000 Dave Gilson 260656 at Kris Kobach Wants Immigrants to Self-Deport. Now Voters May Send Him Packing. <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Republican Kris Kobach has managed to established an outsized persona for only being a one-term secretary of state in Kansas. Kobach became a <a href="">national liberal scourge</a> after he won office in 2010. He loaned out his services to help governors in Arizona, Alabama, and Georgia craft anti-immigration legislation, pioneering <a href="">the idea of self-deportation</a> that Mitt Romney touted in his presidential campaign. In Kansas, he <a href="">imposed</a> harsh voter ID laws to keep Democrat-inclined voters away from the ballot; just last week, he <a href="" target="_blank">went to court</a> against Chad Taylor&mdash;a Dem who wanted to drop his Senate campaign&mdash;in order to keep Taylor's name on the ballot and improve the Republican candidate's odds (the state Supreme Court <a href="" target="_blank">ruled</a> against Kobach last week).</p> <p>Yet after becoming a hero to the right, Kobach is now struggling to hold onto office, trailing or tied in recent polls. And he can thank Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback for his troubles, since Brownback's decisions to alienate moderate Republicans ended up driving Kobach's opponent out of the party and made her determined to take Kobach down.</p> <p>"We have a secretary of state who has been AWOL from Kansas," Jean Schodorf, the Democrat challenging Kobach, told me last month. "He would rather be representing Arizona. Because he has been gone and had a personal agenda, the secretary of state's office is falling apart."</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/09/kris-kobach-kansas-jean-schodorf"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Elections Immigration The Right Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:30:06 +0000 Patrick Caldwell 260781 at Is This Deep-Fried Yam Chef the Future of Texas Politics? <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Milton Whitley&rsquo;s gift to Texas was called twisted yam on a stick. You take a yam, cut it into a spiral, deep fry it, cover it in butter, smother it in sugar, coat it in cinnamon, eat. Is it healthy? Of course it's healthy&mdash;yam is a superfood. The final product was a finalist at the 2009 Texas State Fair, before losing out to the eventual winner, deep-fried butter.</p> <p>A native of Dallas County, Whitley started off as a catfish cook and worked his way up the comfort food chain to an appearance on national television presenting Oprah and Gayle with a homemade sweet potato pie. He now teaches science at a public school. But last year he set his sights on something more daunting than the fried food contest at the state fair&mdash;getting elected to the Texas legislature as a Democrat. Whitley, who's <a href="" target="_blank">running</a>&nbsp; in the Dallas-area 113th state house district, is one of a dozen candidates selected as part of a trial program for Battleground Texas, the Democratic organizing project <a href="" target="_blank">launched</a> last spring by a cast of Obama campaign veterans who are hoping to turn the nation's largest red state blue.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/09/milton-whitley-battleground-texas-democrats-yams"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Elections Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:15:05 +0000 Tim Murphy 260711 at Charles Blow on Masculinity, Trayvon Martin, and Reliving Childhood Trauma <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>Charles Blow is known to readers of the <em>New York Times</em> as a guy who distills complex news events into tidy concepts and charts. But his unabashedly honest memoir out this week, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Fire Shut Up in My Bones</em></a>, reveals a painful, messy childhood in rural Gibsland, Louisiana, "a place with whites and blacks mostly separated by a shallow ditch and a deep understanding."</p> <p>Blow's early childhood was a succession of traumas, none more scarring than his own sexual abuse by an older cousin, which he alludes to in his most <a href="" target="_blank">recent column</a>. But Blow later reinvented himself as an athlete, star student, and, later, president of a college fraternity with violent hazing rituals. He became the <em>Times</em>' graphics director at age 25, did a stint as art director at <em>National Geographic</em>, and earned the title of Gray Lady columnist in April of 2008. "I was in a panic the day that I got this job," he admits. "An absolute panic!"</p> <p><strong>Mother Jones:</strong> What was the catalyst for your memoir?</p> <p><strong>Charles Blow:</strong> I had an insanely long commute&mdash;New York to DC&mdash;when I worked at <em>National Geographic</em>. I hate to waste time, so I spent my time by writing about my life on the premise that I might be able to pitch those as short essays to magazines. It wasn't until later that I realized that I was writing a book.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> You have an amazing memory.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/blow-child.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Blow in a school photo </strong><em>Courtesy Charles Blow</em></div> </div> <p><strong>CB: </strong>Trauma stays alive and stays with you. You relive it every day, so those scenes are incredibly fresh.&nbsp; In addition, the house where I grew up was still there. Nothing had been changed inside. So I'd just sit in the room, forcing myself to remember in the actual space where [events] happened. It helps with the dimension and gritty granularity that you can provide. I did the same thing with the church and with the cemetery.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Now, the cemetery in your hometown was once segregated&mdash;grandiose on the white side, rundown on <a href="" target="_blank">the black side</a>. Is it still like that?</p> <p><strong>CB:</strong> It is more even. But there is still the chain-link fence between them. In my mind, it would be such a wonderful thing just to take down the fence.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> As a questioning teen, you found the word "homosexual" in the Bible and discovered that it was viewed as an abomination. What would you say to that kid today?</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>Something along the lines of this: Different is not deviant, no matter what the world may say. You have the moral obligation to love yourself.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> As a father of three, did you feel any trepidation about putting certain details about your sex life out in the public realm?</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>That, to me, was a rather simple decision. The facts are nonnegotiable. I always say to my friends, "I sleep well at night."</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> You also write about a time in high school during which you were trying to change the way others perceived you. Will you talk about that?</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>I had set about trying to make myself more polished than a country boy would be. When I won my way to the international science fair, I didn't want to embarrass myself. It was the first time I was going to be away from home, the first time taking an airplane. I went to the local library, checked out every single etiquette book, and I read those books like I was uncovering some sort of treasure. I committed every one of the rules to memory. When somebody puts down four forks on one side and four spoons on the other side, what does that mean? All of a sudden I knew what to do when the food dropped from the table and how to signal that you were finished and how to signal that you wanted coffee&mdash;all these little intricacies that just did not come into our lives because we were poor.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> And you continued with this polishing effort after high school.</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>When I was a freshman in college, I went to a broadcast class by mistake. The first day, the instructor said, "Television anchors sound like they could be from everywhere and nowhere." From that point on, every time I was near an anchor, when no one was around, they would say something and I would say it right after them. It was this effort to get rid of my accent.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> You became the <em>Times</em>' graphics editor at 25. What was that like?</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>I loved that job! You have to become an "afternoon expert." You start by not knowing anything about it in the morning. You go read and quickly come up to speed so you can be somewhat literate. An illustration is a visual editorial&mdash;it's just as nuanced. Everything that goes into it is a call you make: every color, every line weight, every angle.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> What was the transition like from graphics guru to <em>Times</em> columnist?</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>It's great to circle back to a first love, of language and writing. But it has been the most excruciating and public on-the-job training exercise I could imagine. I had no professional writing experience before this job! I started to lean much more on what made me different from the other columnists than what made me like them. I wasn't the only African American when I started, but I'm a Southerner, and I grew up in a poor part of the rural South. I learned how to appreciate the cadence of that language and to bring that to my writing.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> What was the feedback like when you were just starting out?</p> <p><strong>CB:</strong> The internet is ruthless. [<em>Laughs.</em>] And people are very, very happy to let you know when they don't like something. In addition, I put my email address after every column so that I can hear even more of it, because I felt like I really needed as much feedback as possible&mdash;even negative feedback.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> You write in the book that hazing fraternity pledges put you at the top of the male hierarchy&mdash;the apex of the sort of social subjugation that had caused your seven-year-old self to contemplate suicide.</p> <p><strong>CB: </strong>I'm trying to illuminate how perilously narrow we draw the concepts of masculinity and sexuality in our male culture&mdash;particularly in black male culture&mdash;and to help people to see that there's room enough for everyone. Part of the book is to highlight all of these very tricky social settings that young men navigate, including that hazing session, which is about brutality but also about bending yourself until you break in order to fit in&mdash;blending instead of standing up and standing out. I guess what I'm trying to do is say, "I know that life, I've done all those things, and I can still tell you that just being you is perfectly fine."</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> In <a href="" target="_blank">one of your columns</a> about the killing of Trayvon Martin, you asked, "What do I tell my boys?" What <em>did </em>you tell them?</p> <p><strong>CB:</strong> Part of the great sadness of that episode is that I was never able to find the language to both empower and protect my boys. I still don't know what to tell them.</p> <p><em>Correction</em><em>: The print version of this interview incorrectly indicated that Charles Blow is married. In fact, he is divorced. </em></p></body></html> Media Interview Books Media Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:10:05 +0000 Julia Lurie 260121 at This Supreme Court Case Will Decide Whether Companies Can Treat Pregnant Women Like Crap <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p>It's a rare day when pro-choice activists, anti-abortion diehards, and evangelical Christians all file briefs on the same side of a Supreme Court case. But that's what happened recently when the National Association of Evangelicals, Americans United for Life, Democrats for Life of America, and the National Women's Law Center joined forces to support <a href="" target="_blank">Peggy Young,</a> a Maryland woman alleging that she was the victim of pregnancy discrimination.</p> <p>Young was a driver for the shipping giant UPS, where she'd worked for about seven years. In 2006, she took some time off to undergo in vitro fertilization in the hopes of getting pregnant. She succeeded and eventually went back to work, where an occupational health manager told her she had to submit a doctor's note about work restrictions. She provided a midwife recommendation that she not lift more than 20 pounds while pregnant.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2014/09/supreme-court-pregnancy-discrimination-peggy-young-ups"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics Health Care Labor Reproductive Rights Supreme Court Top Stories Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:00:07 +0000 Stephanie Mencimer 260586 at Stop Everything And Let This 11-Year-Old Boy Give You Hope For the Future <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="//" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Last month, in the midst of nightly protests over the killing of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, an 11-year-old boy named Marquis Govan&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">approached</a> the podium at a meeting of the St. Louis County Council, pulled the mic&nbsp;down to his height, and calmly delivered an incredibly well-informed, thoughtful, and stirring set of remarks.</p> <p>"The people of Ferguson, I believe, don't need tear gas thrown at them," he said. "I believe they need jobs. I believe the people of Ferguson, they don't need to be hit with batons. What they need is people to be investing in their businesses." He wasn't reading from notes, and the clearly stunned adults in the room gave him a round of applause when he finished.</p> <p>If all this sounds surprising from a sixth-grader, Govan, a politics junkie who lives with his great-grandmother in St. Louis, drops more adult-sized portions of knowledge in this&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">interview</a> with CBS Sunday Morning. Don't miss it.</p></body></html> MoJo Video Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:58:44 +0000 Tasneem Raja 260806 at Emma Watson Explains Why Feminism Has Nothing to Do With "Man-Hating" <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="473" src="//" width="630"></iframe>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking at the United Nations headquarters this past weekend, actress Emma Watson delivered a moving speech on the importance of gender equality, explaining why feminism is a crucial issue for everyone, not just the ladies.</p> <p>"The more I've spoken about feminism, the more I have realized that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating," Watson said. "If there's one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women have equal rights and opportunities."</p> <p>The 24-year-old Watson, who was appointed a <a href="" target="_blank">U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador six months ago</a>, was speaking on behalf of the "HeForShe" campaign, which urges both men and boys to join the fight for women's rights.</p> <p>In the deeply personal speech, Watson revealed she began questioning gender-based assumptions early on in her life, most notably after she began being sexualized by the media at the age of 14 and watching girlfriends quit sports because they didn't want to appear "bulky."</p> <p>Watch the inspiring speech above.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Film and TV Sex and Gender Mon, 22 Sep 2014 21:41:13 +0000 Inae Oh 260801 at