MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/favicon http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Marco Rubio Gets a Big Boost From Two Loyal Billionaires http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/marco-rubio-pac-larry-ellison-billionaire <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Two billionaires&mdash;one an eccentric ex-CEO with a striking resemblance to Tony Stark, the other a car dealer with a low public profile&mdash;have led the way in bankrolling the super-PAC backing Marco Rubio's presidential bid. Conservative Solutions PAC brought in a total of nearly $16 million in the first half of the year, putting Rubio's unlimited-donations group in third among super-PACs backing Republican presidential candidates, behind just Jeb Bush's Right to Rise PAC, which raised a towering <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/right-rise-donors-revealed" target="_blank">$103 million</a>, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Unintimidated PAC, which brought in <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/scott-walker-diane-hendricks-unitimidated-pac" target="_blank">$20 million</a>.</p> <p>Larry Ellison, the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/marco-rubio-billionaire-larry-ellison-oracle" target="_blank">Iron Man-esque founder of Oracle</a>, gave $3 million to Conservative Solutions PAC in the first six months of 2015, according to the group's first <a href="http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00541292/1019848/" target="_blank">filing</a> with the Federal Election Commission, released Friday. Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Rubio in June, sparking speculation about how dedicated he was to the Florida senator. A few million might not mean much to Ellison, the world's fifth-richest man with a net worth of $54 billion, but the fact that he is indeed backing up his support with cash is significant to Rubio.</p></body></html> <p style="font-size: 1.083em;"><a href="/politics/2015/07/marco-rubio-pac-larry-ellison-billionaire"><strong><em>Continue Reading &raquo;</em></strong></a></p> Politics 2016 Elections Money in Politics marco rubio Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:23:38 +0000 Pema Levy 281081 at http://www.motherjones.com The Clinton Rules, Tax Record Edition http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/clinton-rules-round-587 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>I was sitting in the living room this afternoon and Hopper jumped into my lap. So I told Marian to turn the TV to CNN and I'd watch the news until Hopper released me. The first thing I saw was John Berman teasing a segment about Hillary Clinton releasing a <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_brianna_keilar.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">health statement plus eight years of tax records. In other words, pretty routine stuff for any serious presidential candidate. But when Berman tossed to Brianna Keilar, here's what she said:</p> <blockquote> <p><strong>KEILAR:</strong> When you think of a document dump like this, you normally think of, uh, in a way, sort of having something to hide. But the Clinton campaign trying to make the point that they're putting out this information and they're trying to be very transparent.</p> </blockquote> <p>Talk about the Clinton rules! Hillary Clinton releases nearly a decade's worth of tax records, and the first thing that pops into Keilar's mind is that this is probably an effort to <em>hide</em> something. But hey! Let's be fair. The Clinton campaign says it's actually so that people can see her tax records. But they would say that, wouldn't they?</p> <p>Unbelievable. If any other candidate released eight years of tax records, it would be reported as the candidate releasing eight years of tax records. But when Hillary does it, there's very likely something nefarious going on. God help us.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 21:01:06 +0000 Kevin Drum 281086 at http://www.motherjones.com Huckabee Says He'd Consider Using Federal Troops to Stop Abortions http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/mike-huckabee-federal-troops-abortion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told supporters in Iowa on Thursday that if he were elected president he would consider using the FBI or National Guard <a href="http://cjonline.com/news/2015-07-31/mike-huckabee-republican-presidential-candidate-wont-rule-out-employing-us-troops" target="_blank">to end abortion by force</a>. Per the <em>Topeka Capital-Journal</em>:</p> <blockquote> <p>"I will not pretend there is nothing we can do to stop this," Huckabee said at the event, where a Topeka Capital-Journal correspondent was present.</p> <p>At his next stop, in Rockwell City, Huckabee answered follow-up questions from the correspondent, saying: "All American citizens should be protected."</p> <p>Asked by another reporter how he would stop abortion, and whether this would mean using the FBI or federal forces to accomplish this, Huckabee replied: "We'll see if I get to be president."</p> </blockquote> <p>That's crazy. The right to an abortion has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Huckabee is saying he might simply disregard the judicial branch and stop the practice unilaterally&mdash;that is, he'd remove the checks from "checks and balances." It's not the first time he's proposed a constitutional crisis as an antidote to things he doesn't like. Huckabee has also <a href="http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/mike-huckabee-fight-gay-marriage-dred-scott-ruling-civil-disobedience" target="_blank">said</a> states should practice civil disobedience by ignoring the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage.</p> <p>And to think, we're still nearly a week away <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/gop-debate-cruz-paul-huckabee-trump-santorum" target="_blank">from the first primary debate</a>.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections mike huckabee Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:48:25 +0000 Tim Murphy 281076 at http://www.motherjones.com The State Department Just Released a New Batch of Hillary Clinton Emails. Read Them Here. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/new-batch-of-hillary-clinton-state-department-emails <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>On Friday afternoon, the State Department released a new batch of 1,356 emails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. The emails are part of over 55,000 pages of correspondence that had been stored on <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/03/hillary-clinton-state-department-emails" target="_blank">Clinton's private email server</a> and were subsequently turned over to the State Department. Clinton's emails have provided a revealing glimpse at her State Department tenure, including her team's aggressive efforts to manage the <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/hillary-clinton-emails-greta-van-susteren-leslie-gelb" target="_blank">media</a> and her image and some humorous moments that could have been ripped from the HBO comedy series <em><a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/hillary-clinton-emails-veep-julia-louis-dreyfus" target="_blank">Veep</a></em>. You can read the latest round of Clinton emails below. If something catches your eye, flag it in the comments.</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-2189751-hillary-clinton-emails-7-31-15">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("//www.documentcloud.org/documents/2189751-hillary-clinton-emails-7-31-15.js", { width: 630, height: 450, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-2189751-hillary-clinton-emails-7-31-15" }); </script><noscript> <a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2189751/hillary-clinton-emails-7-31-15.pdf">Hillary Clinton Emails 7/31/15 (PDF)</a> <br><a href="http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/2189751/hillary-clinton-emails-7-31-15.txt">Hillary Clinton Emails 7/31/15 (Text)</a> </noscript></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Hillary Clinton Top Stories Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:43:53 +0000 Allie Gross 281071 at http://www.motherjones.com Friday Cat Blogging - 31 July 2015 http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/friday-cat-blogging-31-july-2015 <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Hopper (left) and Hilbert are so entranced by something or other that even my sister wants to know what they're looking at. My guess: a dust mote in the cat dimension.</p> <p>Speaking of my sister, she is promising some guest cat blogging for next week. Will she come through? Tune in next Friday to find out!</p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_hopper_hilbert_2015_07_31.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 5px 40px;"></p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:50:05 +0000 Kevin Drum 281066 at http://www.motherjones.com Four Years Ago Scott Walker Promised This Woman He'd Bust Wisconsin's Unions http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/07/scott-walker-diane-hendricks-unitimidated-pac <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The super-PAC backing Scott Walker has many wealthy backers, but its single biggest contributor is Diane Hendricks, who ponied up $5 million. A billionaire through the roofing supply business she and her late husband founded, Hendricks has been one of Walker's top benefactors since he first ran for governor. In 2012, Hendricks was the biggest donor to Walker's campaign to stave off a union-led recall effort, and now she's stepped up for him again. Out of the <a href="http://itemizer.herokuapp.com/filing/1019658/schedule/sa" target="_blank">$20 million raised</a> by the pro-Walker group Unintimidated PAC, 25 percent came from Hendricks.</p> <p>If there was any question that Walker and Hendricks are on the same page, here's a video of the two chatting in 2011 shortly after he took office.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y7v8f8jBrW8" width="560"></iframe></p> <p>"Good to see you!" Walker says, dashing through the door and hugging Hendricks and kissing her on the cheek.</p> <p>Hendricks asks Walker about the possibility of turning Wisconsin into a "completely red state."</p> <p>"Oh, yeah," Walker responds, going on to lay out his "divide and conquer" strategy for attacking public sector unions.</p> <p>Despite her massive contribution, Hendricks still has some close competition as the group's biggest funder. Marlene Ricketts, the wife of TD Ameritrade founder and Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts, gave $4.9 million. And Joe Ricketts himself tossed in another $100,000.</p> <p>Richard Uihlein and his wife Elizabeth, the founder and president of Illinois box company Uline, respectively, gave $2.5 million to the super-PAC as well.</p> <p>Rounding out the list of seven-figure donors was Access Industries, a New York City holding company run by Len Blavatnik. Blavatnik is a Ukranian-born businessman who in April was named the <a href="http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sunday-times-rich-list-meet-5584627" target="_blank">"richest man in Britain"</a> with an estimated net worth of $20.1 billion. Blavatnik, who is a US citizen, is also known for his lavish donations to universities including Oxford and Tel Aviv University. On Thursday, the super-PAC supporting Lindsey Graham reported receiving $500,000 from Blavatnik's company.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Scott Walker Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:46:09 +0000 Russ Choma 281056 at http://www.motherjones.com The HPV Vaccine Prevents Cancer. So Why Aren't Most Teens Getting It? http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/07/cdc-reports-not-enough-HPV-vaccinations <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>According to latest National Immunization Survey, <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2015/p0730-hpv.html" target="_blank">released</a> by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday, around 60 percent of teenage girls and 78 percent of teenage boys haven't received all three of the recommended doses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which helps prevent reproductive cancers and genital warts caused by the virus.</p> <p>Administered through three shots over a six month period, the vaccine protects against the most common types of the highly contagious virus, which is spread through sexual contact. Health officials recommend that adolescents receive the shots between the ages of 11 and 12 to boost the chances for immunity prior to any sexual activity, but the survey showed that 40 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys&nbsp;ages 13 to 17 hadn't received even the first dose.</p> <p>HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease&mdash;most people will contract one of the 40 strains at some point in their lives. Seventy-nine million people in the United States have HPV, and an additional 14 million people are infected annually. Many people don't even know they have the virus, and it often goes away on its own.</p> <p>But not everyone is so lucky: One in every 100 will develop genital warts and 23,000 are diagnosed with HPV-caused cancers each year. According to the CDC, the vaccine prevents almost all pre-cancers and warts caused by the virus in both males and females. Since the first HPV vaccine was developed <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/research/progress/discovery/hpv-vaccines" target="_blank">in 2006,</a> the vaccine has helped reduce HPV infections among teenage girls by 56 percent&mdash;even with vaccination rates as low as they are.</p> <p>Still, many parents are deciding to pass. A <a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/03/12/peds.2012-2384.full.pdf+html" target="_blank">study published in <em>Pediatrics </em></a>in 2013 showed that the reasons most cited included unwarranted fears about vaccine safety and disbelief that their kids would be sexually active. Despite it's proven safety and effectiveness, the vaccine has become a politically divisive issue. In 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry was the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rick-perry-reverses-himself-calls-hpv-vaccine-mandate-a-mistake/2011/08/16/gIQAM2azJJ_story.html" target="_blank">first in the country to order a mandate</a>, sparking <a href="http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/facpub/694/" target="_blank">outrage from the religious right.</a> During a 2011 debate, Michele Bachmann claimed that the vaccine was "very dangerous" and caused "mental retardation," and Rick Santorum called vaccine mandates, "just wrong."</p> <div id="stcpDiv" style="position: absolute; top: -1999px; left: -1988px;">HPV vaccine uptake has not kept pace with that of other adolescent vaccines and has stalled in the past few years. In 2012, only about one-third of 13- to 17-year-old girls received all three recommended doses. These levels fall considerably short of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services <span class="italic">Healthy People 2020</span> goal of having 80 percent of 13- to 15-year-old girls fully vaccinated against HPV. Immunization rates for U.S. boys are even lower than for girls. Less than 7 percent of boys ages 13 to 17 completed the series in 2012. This low rate is in large part because the ACIP recommendation for routine vaccination of boys was not made until 2011. However, it is even lower than what was observed for girls in 2007&mdash;the first year following the recommendation for females&mdash;suggesting that concerted efforts are needed to promote HPV vaccination of males. - See more at: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/HPV/ExecutiveSummary.htm#sthash.R6gsTr6L.dpuf</div> <p>The National Cancer Institute <a href="http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/HPV/ExecutiveSummary.htm#sthash.R6gsTr6L.dpbs" target="_blank">has called</a> for an "urgency of action" in closing vaccination gaps , citing that current vaccine rates are falling short of the US Department of Health and Human Services Goal for 80 percent coverage among 13 to 15 year old girls by 2020.</p> <p>Though the focus is more often on girls, men are at also risk for HPV-caused cancers, including throat cancer, which may soon replace cervical cancer as the <a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/04/13/hpv-vaccine-in-men-would-save-costs-of-treating-throat-cancer" target="_blank">most common</a> caused by the virus.</p> <p>The survey did show there had been big gains in some parts of the country&mdash;Illinois, Montana, North Carolina and Utah all averaged increases of roughly 20 percent&mdash;which health officials say is an encouraging sign.</p> <p>"The large increases in these diverse parts of the country show us it is possible to do much better at protecting our nation's youth from cancers caused by HPV infections," Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC&rsquo;s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement released with the report. "We are missing crucial opportunities to protect the next generation from cancers caused by HPV."</p></body></html> Blue Marble Health Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:37:41 +0000 Gabrielle Canon 280986 at http://www.motherjones.com It's Republicans, Not Obama, Who Want to Bust the Sequestration Deal http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/its-republicans-not-obama-who-want-bust-sequestration-deal <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The <em>LA Times</em> reports today that we might be headed for another government shutdown. Big surprise. <a href="http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-budget-standoff-20150730-story.html" target="_blank">But these paragraphs are very peculiar:</a></p> <blockquote> <p><strong>President Obama has signaled his intention to bust, once and for all, the severe 2011 spending caps known as sequestration.</strong> He's vowed to reject any GOP-backed appropriation bills that increase government funding for the military without also boosting domestic programs important to Democrats such as Head Start for preschoolers.</p> <p>The Republican-controlled Congress is also digging in. Since taking control in January, GOP leaders had promised to run Congress responsibly and prevent another shutdown like the one in 2013, but their spending proposals are defying the president's veto threat by bolstering defense accounts and leaving social-welfare programs to be slashed.</p> </blockquote> <p>It's true that Obama has proposed doing away with the sequestration caps. But his budgets have routinely been described as DOA by Republican leaders, so his plans have never gotten so much as a hearing. What's happening right now is entirely different. Republicans are claiming they want to keep the sequestration deal, but they don't like the fact that back in 2011 they agreed it would cut domestic and military spending equally. Instead, Republicans now want to <em>increase</em> military spending and <em>decrease</em> domestic spending. They're doing this by putting the additional defense money into an "emergency war-spending account," which technically allows them to get around the sequester caps. Unsurprisingly, Obama's not buying it.</p> <p>So how does this count as <em>Obama</em> planning to "bust" the sequestration caps? I don't get it. It sounds like Obama is willing to stick to the original deal if he has to, but he's quite naturally insisting that this means sticking to the entire deal. It's Republicans who are trying to renege. What am I missing here?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:21:51 +0000 Kevin Drum 281061 at http://www.motherjones.com A Supermarket Tabloid Company is Funding Chris Christie's Super PAC http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/07/chris-christie-super-pac-american-media <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The pro-Chris Christie super-PAC America Leads raised $11 million in the first quarter of 2015, according to filings released by the Federal Election Commission on Friday. <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/13/empire-edge" target="_blank">Controversial hedge-fund manager</a> Steven A. Cohen gave $1 million. Cleveland Cavaliers owner (and Quicken Loans chief) Dan Gilbert gave $750,000. Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone and WWE magnate Linda McMahon each dropped $250,000. New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon dropped $100,000 that his team's fans dearly wish he'd spent on an outfielder.</p> <p>Oh, and it's hardly the biggest donation on the list, but America Leads also got $10,000 from an unusual source&mdash;a media company. The check came from American Media Inc., the parent company of supermarket tabloids like the <em>National Enquirer</em>, <em>OK!</em>, and <em>Star; </em>and fitness publications like <em>Men's Fitness</em>, <em>Muscle &amp; Fitness</em>; and <em>Flex</em>. What's the Christie connection? In June, the governor named American Media Inc.'s chairman, David Pecker, to his presidential leadership team.</p> <p>We can't speak for <em>Flex</em>, but the normally scandal-happy <em>Enquirer</em> has been bullish about Christie's chances. Last April, it <a href="http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/exclusive-chris-christies-white-house-dream-alive" target="_blank">published</a> an "EXCLUSIVE!" boasting that the governor's White House dreams were "alive" because "American politics is full of comeback stories." And in February, it <a href="http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/oval-office-dream-alive-republican-frontrunner-chris-christie-clear-over-hatchet-job" target="_blank">published</a> another item touting Christie's chances despite "hatchet job" corruption claims.</p></body></html> MoJo 2016 Elections Money in Politics Chris Christie Fri, 31 Jul 2015 17:06:50 +0000 Tim Murphy 281036 at http://www.motherjones.com California Really Doesn't Need to Worry About Losing Jobs to Texas http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/07/california-really-doesnt-need-worry-about-losing-jobs-texas <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Is California losing jobs to Texas, thanks to California's stringent anti-business regulations vs. Texas's wide-open business-friendly environment? It's a question I have only a modest interest in, since there are lots of reasons for states to gain or lose business. California has nice weather. Texas has cheap housing. Recessions hit different states at different times and with different intensities. Business regulations might be part of the mix, but it's all but impossible to say how much.</p> <p>But now I care even less. Lyman Stone ran some numbers and confirmed that, in fact, California has been losing jobs and Texas has been gaining jobs over the past couple of decades. But by itself that isn't very interesting. The real question is, how many jobs? <a href="https://medium.com/migration-issues/companies-migrate-too-e10b71462a57" target="_blank">Here is Stone's chart:</a></p> <p><img align="middle" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_net_job_migration_california_texas.jpg" style="border: 1px solid black; margin: 15px 0px 15px 0px;"></p> <p>Stone comments: "Net migration isn&rsquo;t 1% or 2%. <strong>It&rsquo;s plus or minus 0.05% in most cases.</strong> Even as a share of total change in employment, migration is massively overwhelmed by employment changes due to local startups and closures, and local expansions and contractions. The truth is, net employment changes due to firm migration are within the rounding error of total employment. Over time they may matter, but overall they&rsquo;re pretty miniscule."</p> <p>What's more, these numbers are for migration to and from every state in the union. They're far smaller if you look solely at California-Texas migration.</p> <p>Bottom line: An almost invisible number of workers are migrating from California to Texas each year due to firm relocation, probably less than .02 percent. The share of that due to burdensome business regulation is even less, probably no more than .01 percent. That's so small it belongs in the "Other" category of any employment analysis. No matter how you look at it, this is just not a big deal.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong> In a Twitter conversation, Stone makes it clear that this is solely a look at job migration tied to firm relocation. The idea is to test the theory that Texas is "poaching" companies from California thanks to its anti-business climate, and it seems pretty clear that this just isn't happening in numbers large enough to be noticeable.</p> <p>There are lots of other things to say about this, including the number of new startup firms in each state, where existing firms choose to expand, and so forth. Those would be interesting things to look at, but for another day. This is strictly a look at the supposed poaching phenomenon.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Fri, 31 Jul 2015 16:54:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 281046 at http://www.motherjones.com