ProgressVirginia reported Tuesday afternoon that the Virginia Senate’s Privileges and Elections Committee killed Sen. Charles “Bill” Carrico Sr.’s electoral college-rigging bill, despite an offer by Carrico to amend the bill to award electors in proportion to the state’s popular vote. The vote was 11-4 against the bill, although it will not be official until the close of the committee meeting.
IMO, Emma Stone wipes the floor with Jimmy. And Jimmy agrees with me.
Open thread below....
As a response to the passing of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Wilco has canceled their only tour stop in the state in protest. The act has approved many discriminatory practices on religious grounds, which has been met with a lot of disapproval both inside and outside of Indiana. Here is the band's official statement on the matter:
"We are canceling our May 7 show at the Murat in Indianapolis. The "Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act" feels like thinly disguised legal discrimination to us. Hope to get back to the Hoosier State someday soon, when this odious measure is repealed. Refunds available at point of purchase."
What are you listening to tonight?
The talks go on, but there's cause for cautious optimism.
Diplomats and negotiators worked late as an initial deadline approached, but more time appeared necessary to reach a framework deal.
How long talks will continue was unclear. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius informed the Iranians that he will return to Paris at dawn Wednesday in an apparent effort to force the Iranians' hand, Western diplomatic sources told CNN.
Hamid Ba'idinejad from Iran's Foreign Ministry said earlier Tuesday there are no "artificial" deadlines and a deal will be reached, when each issue has been resolved.
Diplomats told CNN that there has been progress, but gaps remain.
For Iran, that means there's a light at the end of the tunnel for crippling sanctions. For the West, it means real hope that it's possible to loosen up on Tehran while still being confident that it won't develop nuclear weapons.
The international sanctions relief issue has been resolved, according to Ba'idinejad. "We have had long discussions on this, but there are issues that are related to sanctions that are still under consideration," Ba'idinejad said. He added that is not the only issue that needs to be worked out.
The thing is, nuclear physics is complicated. So are the international dynamics anytime you're talking about Iran and the West, with mutual distrust and contempt a shared sentiment for years.
Cliven Bundy has said that the land his family settled and has used since the late 1870s near Bunkerville, NV is his, so he doesn't recognize federal authority. In order to avoid paying the $1,000,000 he owes the government, he has teamed up with Nevada's favorite bimbo, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, to pass a bill to usurp all of the 85% of Nevada land that is owned by the BLM.
Eleven western states have introduced bills this year on the matter, and AB408 is the most extreme, according to Jessica Goad of the Denver-based conservation group Center for Western Priorities. The bill asserts the federal government has no right to the lands, while other bills merely call for a study on federal land ownership or demand the federal government turn over the lands.
Think about this: Dr. Chaps is too extreme for the Colorado Republican politicians. Hmm:
DENVER - House Republicans have decided to discipline state Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt (R-Colorado Springs) by removing him from one of his two committee assignments in the wake of his controversial comments about an attack on a pregnant woman in Longmont.
The episode led to public embarrassment for party leaders, who quickly sought to distance themselves from Klingenschmitt, a former Navy chaplain who goes by the screen name "Dr. Chaps" on his religious streaming TV show.
He'll be pulled from the house health, insurance, and environment committee, but remain a member of the house local government committee.
"I was very disturbed by Representative Klingenschmitt's comments last week and want to reiterate that his comments do not represent our caucus and he does not speak for our caucus. As House Minority Leader my ability to discipline a member of our caucus is limited. Representative Klingenschmitt's conduct warranted his removal from the committee," House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) said in a statement.
This hasn't been a good week for the so-called "Christian" anti-LGBT bigots out there. Mike Pence has been a train wreck in one television appearance after another and his defenders aren't doing a whole lot better: Cuomo Confrontation with IN Conservative Gets Personal: ‘Own Who and What You Are’:
New Day host Chris Cuomo, who’s become a one-man wrecking ball over Indiana’s just-passed “religious liberty” bill, confronted Ryan McCann, Policy Director of the Indiana Family Institute, Tuesday morning for his third contentious interview on the subject in the past 24 hours.
McCann argued that the bill only ensures protections for religious minorities, something Cuomo said was belied by the presence of anti-LGBT figures at the bill’s signing. McCann said that the statements Cuomo was alluding to had been passed around the internet “by the left.”
I don't know how much more definite she can be:
"No. I’m not running and I’m not going to run," she said. "I’m in Washington. I’ve got this really great job and a chance to try and make a difference on things that really matter."
Warren said her political interests remain firmly on issues she can help make an impact from her Senate perch — like lowering interest rates on student loans, raising the minimum wage, and bolstering Social Security.
"There's a lot to fight over right this minute," she said.
According to Warren, Hillary Clinton should be given space to lay out her political intentions, along with her vision for a White House under her administration.
Oh dear. How could all these people have misconstrued this wonderful legislation as intending discrimination against Teh Ghey? We will get right to work fixing it!
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) vowed Tuesday morning that the state would alter its religious liberties bill in the wake of a controversy that has drawn widespread criticism to the state, even as he defended the law and insisted it was being unfairly portrayed in the media.
Pence urged lawmakers to pass legislation making it clear “that this law does not give businesses the right to deny services to anyone.”
“We need to focus specifically on this perception that this creates some license to discriminate,” he said at a news conference in Indianapolis.
The change is a “clarification, but it’s also a fix,” Pence said of the update he hopes to see in the bill, which has been pilloried as anti-gay and has prompted business leaders and organizations across the country to question the law.
While Pence promised that the bill would be updated, he did not support a repeal of the legislation, nor did he say that language would be adding explicitly protecting gay or transgender people. He also spent a significant portion of the news conference defending the bill and criticizing the media, insisting that the current legislation did not allow for discrimination.
“This law has been smeared,” he said.
So the Twitters are in full outrage mode this morning over some old tweets by Trevor Noah, the new Daily Show host.
Almost bumped a Jewish kid crossing the road. He didn't look b4 crossing but I still would hav felt so bad in my german car!
— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) September 18, 2009
— Dani Klein (@YeahThatsKosher) March 30, 2015
David Dayen writes about something Barney Frank disclosed in his new autobiography: Namely, that Barack Obama is the real reason why the financial crisis has gone on so long, mostly because he prioritized the banks and ignored the needs of foreclosed homeowners. Moral hazard, amirite? And look how well that turned out for rich people! Via Salon:
TARP was doled out in two tranches of $350 billion each. The Bush administration, still in charge during TARP’s passage in October 2008, used none of the first tranche on mortgage relief, nor did Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson use any leverage over firms receiving the money to persuade them to lower mortgage balances and prevent foreclosures. Frank made his anger clear over this ignoring of Congress’ intentions at a hearing with Paulson that November. Paulson argued in his defense, “the imminent threat of financial collapse required him to focus single-mindedly on the immediate survival of financial institutions, no matter how worthy other goals were.”
Indiana’s widely-hated “religious freedom” law couldn’t have a better friend than Megyn Kelly. She vigorously defended the law not once but twice on Fox News prime time last night.
A fierce backlash has sprung up against the law that many experts (but not Kelly!) think will lead to discrimination against the LGBTcommunity.
First, on The O’Reilly Factor, Kelly parroted right-wing talking points (as did other Fox hosts) that the law is just like a federal law and those passed by many states. Therefore, Kelly argued, there’s no need to worry about LGBT discrimination.
KELLY: You know, the person who doesn’t want to photograph the gay wedding or provide the flowers to the gay wedding, they’ve all lost (in court). The gays and lesbians win, and the person objecting on religious grounds loses… even in the states that have a law like Indiana’s.
As Kelly continued, she first feigned objectivity by citing “what the people defending the law in Indiana say” but soon clearly became a defender herself.
This is why Ted Cruz should not be treated as a serious contender for 2016. Listen to his daddy call for nationwide nullification of state laws on same-sex marriage.
“Something very exciting that has happened is what happened in Alabama with Justice Roy Moore,” Cruz said, hailing a state supreme court ruling which found that “the courts of Alabama do not have to obey the opinion of a federal judge and as a matter of fact, Justice Roy Moore, ordered the civil courts in Alabama not to issue marriage licenses for homosexual couples. And so what they are doing is asserting that the state has supremacy and basically all of these laws were for the state to make those decisions, not the federal court, the federal court is overreaching and it is actually legislating from the bench, contrary to the opinion of the majority of the American people."
It gets even more interesting when the crazy callers call in:
By Wendell Potter
Health insurance executives and lobbyists have for years told us that one of the main reasons they charge us so much for coverage is the cost shifting that results from Uncle Sam’s stinginess.
The story goes like this: hospitals are paid so inadequately by government programs like Medicare and Medicaid that they have to charge private insurers more to keep their doors open.
One of the regular communicators of this theory is Karen Ignagni, CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s biggest PR and lobbying group.Ignagni pushed this line incessantly during the health care reform debate. She even cited it in response to a question about why the industry was so opposed to the creation of a government-run “public option” health plan.
“What we have is a significant amount of cost shifting because the government underpays,” she said. “Our [premium] rates are higher as a result of that. If you set up a public structure, whatever you call it, and it has the benefit of government rates, we are still being disadvantaged because of the cost shifting.”
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence ran to the loving arms of Faux "news" this Tuesday to do some damage control -- following his disastrous interview with George Stephanopoulos -- where he was lobbed softballs and allowed to play the "I have one black friend" card when pretending his state's newly passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act isn't intended to allow businesses discriminate.
When co-host Steve Doocy paraphrased Reverend Al Sharpton as saying the bill was racist (did he?), Pence cited his participation in the 45th anniversary of Selma.
“Five years ago my wife and my family walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge with John Lewis when I co-chaired the pilgramage to mark the 45th anniversary of Bloody Sunday,” Pence said. “I abhor discrimination. If I was in a restaurant and saw a business owner deny services to someone because they were gay, I wouldn’t eat there anymore. Frankly, that’s how most Hoosiers are.”
Jeb Bush is working it hard these days, pandering to every fringe group he possibly can while walking away from the mainstream.
I think it's worth considering Bibi Netanyahu's tactics when you listen to him bless Indiana's right-to-discriminate bill, because I guarantee you that if he wins the nomination he'll be telling everyone he didn't really mean that thing that he said during the primaries.
In GOP-land, you say whatever you have to say to get the nomination, then lie about moving to the center in order to get elected. Then as soon as you're elected, you go right back to pandering to all the far-right groups who bought you that nomination in the first place.
But even with all that, this is pretty stupid.
"I think Governor Pence has done the right thing," says Bush. "Florida has a law like this. Bill Clinton signed a law like this at the federal level."
Stop right there, because that's lie number one. The part every one of these conservatives is intentionally leaving out of their blessings is the part where they forget that Indiana's law reaches much farther than the Federal RFRA or many other state laws.
Here is the fundamental difference. This law permits any for-profit entity to use this law to defend themselves in all cases, including those where government is not a party. It specifically bars people from filing discrimination lawsuits, too.
Someone forgot to give Fox host Bret Baier the memo on the Indiana's new "religious freedom" law: Watch A Fox News Anchor Debunk His Network's Defense Of Indiana's "Religious Freedom" Law:
Fox News anchor Bret Baier debunked the network's defense of Indiana's discriminatory "religious freedom" law, explaining that the law is broader than both federal law and similar measures in other states.
Last week, Scott Walker appeared at a luncheon in Phoenix, which was emceed by Hugh Hewitt. When he wasn't talking about how the Boy Scouts made him presidential material, he discussed whether to legalize marijuana.
Of course, Walker is against it:
At a luncheon in Phoenix emceed by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Walker said he opposed legalizing marijuana, citing a conversation he said he had with the sheriff of liberal Dane County. "I mean, it’s left of Pravda," Walker said of the political views of county residents, which he compared to the Communist Russian newspaper.
"Even there, the Democrat sheriff said to me last year when this issue came up, 'Whatever you do, please do not sign the legalization of marijuana,'" Walker said. "This was a guy who spent his whole career in law enforcement. He was liberal on a whole lot of other issues. But he said it’s a gateway drug."
Today we report on the economy and what we need to do and what others are doing, while Bill O'Reilly, well, reports on himself.
EgbertoWillies knows why the middle class is losing.
Glog tells us about how Podcasting is surviving using alternative financial models.
Frankly Curious wonders why the conservative press didn't follow up on their story about the minimum wage increase killing off Borderlands Books in San Francisco.
Bonus Track: OK, SciFi Fans: Imgur has 142 images of the miniatures used in Ridley Scott’s classic film, Bladerunner. Let’s get our geek-on!
Round-up by Tengrain who blogs at Mock, Paper, Scissors and sometime contributes at Liberaland. You can follow Tengrain on the electronic Twitter machine, too. Send tips, requests, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org (with "For MBRU" in the subject line).
@moshekasher: The Sound of Music is my favorite holocaust-themed musical family classic.
Open thread below....