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.
Mad Mike's America - Obama Derangement Syndrome: a fond look back;
Ramona's Voices - CPAC: a fond look back;
RH Reality Check - Oregon gets it;
Right Wing Watch - Jindal, Santorum to travel to Israel with noted anti-Semites;
The Daily Banter - meet the Conservative Avengers!
Send tips to MBRU at crooksandliars dot com.
After Senator James Inhofe trolled the entire Senate with his snowball on Thursday, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse stepped up to the mic with his fact snowplow to clear away the mess.
So much win.
Here's the transcript:
WHITEHOUSE: I'd just like to complete my remarks with regard to the Senator from Oklahoma and his snowball. I'd like to ask unanimous consent that I show the Earth Now website on the iPad device that I have.
And if you go to Earth Now it's actually quite easy to load, and you can see how that polar vortex measurably brings the cold air down to New England where we are right now.
And this is produced by NASA. These are pretty serious people. So you can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball.
The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear, who is the head of the Pacific Command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific. He's a career miilitary officer and he's deadly serious.
You can either believe the United States Navy, or you can believe the Senator With The Snowball.
The religious and faith groups are very clear on this, by and large. I would particularly salute the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has made a very, very clear and strong statements and we are going to hear more from Pope Francis about this when he releases his encyclical and when he speaks to the Joint Session of Congress on September 24th.
Sarah Palin told the CPAC 2015 audience that "honorable" presidential candidates should spend some time serving in our military. I guess that leaves her and the rest of the GOP field out of the running.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) suggested — perhaps unwittingly — on Thursday that neither she nor any Republican weighing a 2016 presidential campaign is eligible for the position.
“It’s said that old men declare wars, and then they send the young ones to fight ‘em,” Palin said during an appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). “So it’s the duty of he who sends them to actually make sure that we can win those wars. And it’s our duty to elect an honorable commander-in-chief who is willing to make the same sacrifices he sends others away to make.”
One of Palin’s sons, Track, served in Iraq for a year for the Army. Going by her remark, however, her son is more qualified than any of the GOP’s most visible prospective candidates: Governors Jeb Bush of Florida, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have not served, nor have Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
A month from now we will all have forgotten balloon boy the llama drama. But for now, Python!
Open thread below...
Tonight, Tatsuro Yamashita hits us with some smooth, funky jams all the way back from 1982. From what I've heard, Japan had a pretty good funk scene back in the day, even after the heyday of the genre in the U.S. This is a bit more on the poppier side of funk, but it's funky nonetheless. Here's a tip: if you ever get an itch to hear more out of a genre that you feel like you've heard it all from, look outside of the U.S. for some other countries' takes on the style.
What are you listening to tonight?
Bill O'Reilly has been in the middle of a hail storm against his own credibility with his previous work and Media Matters researched another one of BIll's claims and exposed it as false.
Bill O'Reilly has claimed repeatedly that he witnessed the execution of nuns while reporting in 1981 on the civil war in El Salvador, an apparent fabrication that is at odds with both history and what O'Reilly himself has said about arriving in the country after the event took place, according to new information unearthed by Media Matters.
O'Reilly has spoken on several occasions about his time covering the Salvadoran civil war as a CBS correspondent in 1981, suggesting at least twice that he witnessed the murder of the churchwomen. On the September 27, 2005, edition of his talk-radio program The Radio Factor, O'Reilly said, "I've seen guys gun down nuns in El Salvador." And on the December 14, 2012, edition of his Fox News show, O'Reilly spoke of telling his mother that "I was in El Salvador and I saw nuns get shot in the back of the head."
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros found a new way to ratchet up hate and divisiveness today as she openly sided with Israel over her own country – and pretended she was "just asking" if the Obama administration is anti-Semitic.
Today, on Outnumbered, the hosts attacked Secretary of State John Kerry for criticizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for trying to undermine U.S. negotiations with Iran.
I question, does the White House really want to stop (Iran) from building the bomb or are they enabling them? Do they feel morally-relative Obama – who believes in American exceptionalism, just like Greek exceptionalism, just like Iranian exceptionalism?
…I think it is time that we asked the question. I’m dead serious about this: Is this White House anti-Semitic? Are they?
Cohost Kennedy, to her credit, seemed to object, as did the #OneLuckyGuy for the show, former CIA agent Mike Baker.
It takes a special kind of hubris to stand all puffed-up not just before the simpatico audience at CPAC, but also those watching from a distance online and claim that handling Madison protesters is just like dealing with extremists abroad, but that's what Scott Walker did during his speech.
Speaking about national security, Walker said, "I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their power to make sure radical Islamic threats do not wash up on American soil."
"We will have somebody who leads and ultimately will send a message that not only will we protect American soil, but do not take this upon freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world."
Here comes the zinger.
"We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I could take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."
So that we're clear here, Scott Walker just compared American citizens exercising their right to free speech to violent, homicidal extremists in the Middle East.
When Barbara Boxer gets angry, watch out. She's got a wicked gift for sarcasm and straight talk which she wasn't afraid to use liberally during her 19 minute floor speech on immigration, childish Republicans, and the looming shutdown of the DHS.
The clip above is pared down to include the most delicious moments of her speech. It's still long, but I encourage you to watch it if for no other reason than to enjoy the experience of hearing someone say what we're all thinking.
Here are some teasers:
The Center for American Progress, states it would cost more than $50 Billion to deport the entire population that the president is protecting.
And here's the deal - I've never heard of a Republican (and I will stand corrected if any Republican corrects me) I've never heard of a Republican complaining when President Eisenhower used his executive order power to help immigrants, when President Nixon did the same thing to protect immigrants, when President Ronald Reagan, their hero, protected immigrants, when George Bush Sr. protected immigrants, when George W. protected immigrants, they all used their authority.
Show me one Republican that stood up and said, 'Oh, this is outrageous! Let's impeach the president!' But it's President Obama. And they're annoyed because he won twice. Sorry. Sorry. Wake up and smell the roses. He IS the President. And he is doing the right thing for America, because he loves America.
Oops, take THAT, Rudy Giuliani!
Every Republican running in the 2016 presidential election longs for the times they can spend with Sean Hannity. He's a no-talent right-wing propagandist of the highest order who will most likely ask the questions you supply him. He joined Ted Cruz after the Senator gave his speech to the CPAC crowd and turned it into one of his usual love-in sessions.
Hannity started out by daring Cruz to reveal, how had he bravely survived criticism for helping to shut down the government in 2013?
Cruz’s response: Kill Obamacare.
Hannity: Tell us how much you hate the Republican leadership in Congress.
Cruz: I want to disrupt politics like I was Uber.
Hannity: Kill ISIS?
Cruz: Kill ISIS!
Hannity: Liberal birthers?
Cruz: “Look, I was born in Calgary, my mother was an American citizen by birth. Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The Constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen.”
Hannity: President Cruz?
Cruz: Kill Obamacare. Kill the IRS. Put IRS agents on the southern border. Kill the EPA. Constitution! Shining City on a Hill!
Yadda, yadda. But then, Hannity finally asked an interesting question: What did Cruz think about Colorado legalizing marijuana?
In July 2010, President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 953(b) of that law directs the SEC to require public companies to disclose the median annual total compensation of all employees, the total annual compensation of the chief executive officer, and the ratio of the median employee pay to the CEO's pay. This gives investors and the public clues to whether — and the extent to which — the company is being looted from the top.
Here is what the law says:
H.R.4173 SEC. 953. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION DISCLOSURES.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commission shall amend section 229.402 of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations, to require each issuer to disclose in any filing of the issuer described in section 229.10(a) of title 17, Code of Federal Regulations (or any successor thereto)–
(A) the median of the annual total compensation of all employees of the issuer, except the chief executive officer (or any equivalent position) of the issuer;
(B) the annual total compensation of the chief executive officer (or any equivalent position) of the issuer; and
(C) the ratio of the amount described in subparagraph (A) to the amount described in subparagraph (B).
That was 2010. Tick, tick ...
Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim of Huffpost with an interesting rumor:
WASHINGTON -- Russ Feingold has been reaching out to supporters in recent weeks to discuss a 2016 Senate bid to retake his old seat from Republican Ron Johnson, sources with knowledge of the calls told The Huffington Post.
The progressive Wisconsin Democrat was wiped out of the Senate in the tea party wave of 2010, but since then, many supporters have been keeping their fingers crossed that he'd run again -- in a presidential election year likely to be more favorable to Democrats.
Multiple sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity told HuffPost that in recent months, Feingold has talked to Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), among others.
Feingold will step down in March from his position as the State Department's special envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the sources indicated, and can't make an announcement before that.
But he toyed with reporters on Tuesday during an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace by referring to his aide, Mary Irvine, as his "once, current and, I hope, future chief of staff."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was interviewed by Laura Ingraham at CPAC today and tried to give a right-wing populist message of sorts to the red-meat crowd by mentioning the working class, but offered up no solutions and just had insults for Hillary Clinton and the increase in the minimum wage. Somewhere along the line, Christie has framed the minimum wage fight as the Democrats' only solution for the stagnant wages that have so heavily favored the wealthy. But what was more interesting was the fact that he admitted that the Republican party IS the party of the rich, and always defends them at the detriment of the working class and the poor.
Christie: Our vision for the United States is one, to make sure that. you know as republicans, the way they'll try to tag is us Laura is to say we're the party of the rich. And I'll tell you something, I don't mind rich people at all, but we don't need to be standing up as a party defending them all the time. What we need to do is start fighting for the people who are trying to lift themselves up, who haven't had a wage increase adjusted for inflation in fifteen years.
Now, Mrs. Clinton's answer to that is to say, raise the minimum wage. I will tell you this. No parents are sitting around the kitchen table saying, if our child can get a higher minimum wage job, my gosh, every one of our aspirations for them will be realized.
Republican extremist congresshacks vow to fight the ruling that only 15% of their voting base opposes. Because freedom!
The Federal Communications Commission approved strict new rules for Internet providers Thursday in a historic vote that represents the government's most aggressive attempt to make sure the Web remains a level playing field.
The rules would dramatically expand the agency's oversight of the country's high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. They were adopted by a 3-to-2 margin with the commission's Republican members voting against them.
Under the rules, it will be illegal for companies such as Verizon or Cox Communications to slow down streaming videos, games and other online content traveling over their networks. They also will be prohibited from establishing "fast lanes" that speed up access to Web sites that pay an extra fee. And in an unprecedented move, the FCC could apply the rules to wireless carriers, such as T-Mobile and Sprint, in a nod to the rapid rise of smartphones and the mobile Internet.
“This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “They both stand for the same concept: openness, expression and an absence of gatekeepers telling them what they can do, where they can go and what they can think.”
The Congresswoman from Utah, Mia Love (R) was, once again, singing the praises of conservative politics from the podium at CPAC 2015. She followed a lackluster fellow Utahan, Mike Lee, who put the crowd in a less-than-excited-state. Raw Story writes:
And this was the opportunity for Mia Love, the young, African-American representative from Utah, who is a Mormon, to shine. She’s quite good as a speaker, and she defies many of the stereotypes about both black Americans and Republicans, but it’s hard to see her inspiring a mass shift of black voters to her side.
But she does try. Repeatedly, she tries to convince listeners that government efforts to help out minority Americans are actually victimizing them, and that the conservative vision of limited government is the best way to “free” the poor.
“We are the ones that care about the poor,” she said. “The Left does the opposite and brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator.”
Nobody can be born this dumb. I am certain that it just had to require an operation.
Texas State Representative Debbie Riddle, a woman frighteningly over-concerned with your genitals, filed a bill in the Texas House that says …
… anyone over the age of 13 in a public facility of “a gender that is not the same gender as the individual’s gender” should be convicted of a class-A misdemeanor, and spend up to one year in jail and be fined $4,000. Riddle’s proposed law carves out exemptions for custodians, those helping children, or those responding to a medical emergency.
Her goal is to keep transgender people from peeing. Anywhere, anytime.
And since it would be easier to teach a mermaid to do the splits than to identity a transgender person with their clothes on, I suspect some sort of nudity check would be involved at the bathroom door. I can guarantee you this: I am not showing Debbie Riddle my nudity.
Debbie wants to use your DNA to confirm your gender. I do not know if this would require a DNA testing center outside of every bathroom or if you can just get a DNA ID card for bathroom privileges.
Via The Verge just now, a vote to preempt state laws in two cases that has set an important precedent:
Before it tackles net neutrality, the FCC is setting a major precedent for municipal broadband: it's just voted to preempt state laws that were preventing two cities from building out their own locally run broadband networks. The decision was prompted by separate petitions from Wilson, North Carolina, and Chattanooga, Tennessee — both cities that've established high-speed, gigabit internet services, but have been barred from expanding to neighboring communities due to existing state laws. So far, 19 states have similar regulations to those that the FCC is overriding in Wilson and Chattanooga, but today's ruling affects only those two specific cases.
It may already be too late, and the effort too small, to make a significant difference to climate change, but it's still worth doing. If only we had legislators who tackled issues like this:
If you to want to install solar panels on your roof but haven’t yet because it’s too expensive, Google really wants to help.The search giant, valued at $370 billion, is once again boosting its investment in SolarCity’s residential solar power model by $300 million, both companies announcedThursday. Combined with a new financing structure from SolarCity, the companies say this will result in a new fund worth $750 million to help install distributed rooftop solar on homes across the country.
That’s the largest investment in such a fund ever, according to SolarCity. It means “roughly 25,000″ new solar households and about 500 megawatts of new capacity, SolarCity spokesperson Jonathan Bass said in an interview.
“Whenever you have a company of Google’s stature get involved it’s significant,” Bass said.
I didn't follow the history of how this happened, so I don't know the thinking behind the ban on pot stores, but they missed an opportunity to tax them and more adequately fund the D.C. public schools:
DC voters in November approved a ballot initiative that allows adults 21 and older to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, grow up to six plants, and gift up to one ounce of pot to other adults 21 and older. The measure, which took effect Thursday, doesn't legalize sales, so anyone who tries to make a profit off marijuana could still get locked up. Smoking in public remains banned.Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. So it will still be prohibited on federal property, such as parks and monuments. It also remains banned in federally subsidized public housing. DC police likely won't enforce these bans, but federal police agencies might.DC is unique, because its marijuana legalization measure doesn't allow pot stores.