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.
I saw this and (as one of my Southern friends used to say), I about fell out of the porch swing when Lindsey played the damned polygamy card at Loretta Lynch's confirmation hearing:
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) got down to the nitty-gritty in the Senate Judiciary confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, asking Eric Holder’s potential replacement to explicate the constitutional difference between gay marriage and polygamy.
“If the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, it violates the constitution for a state to try to limit marriage between a man and a woman, that’s clearly the law of the land unless there’s a constitutional amendment to change it, what legal rationale will be in play that would prohibit polygamy?” Graham asked.
“What’s the legal difference between a ban on same-sex marriage being unconstitutional but a ban on polygamy being constitutional? Could you try to articulate how one could be banned under the constitution and the other not?”
Oh, Lindsey. You're such a right-wing tool.
When I started C&L, one of the missions I undertook was to expose the tremendous amount of lies and propaganda spewed by the Fox News channel on a daily basis. At the time, Fox News was being criticized occasionally, but not with much verve or tenacity from most media outlets because they were still part of the beltway Villagers club. I can say now that the veil has been ripped off and everybody, even the Villagers know where Fox News stand, but it's still very helpful to see studies done on the topic of media accuracy. And the latest information is very damning to Roger Ailes and his pet project.
MSNBC and CNN have improved ever so slightly on our TV network scorecards, while Fox News has moved a touch in the opposite direction.
We last looked at our network scorecards, which examine all the claims made by pundits on air, in September. The scorecards measure statements made by a pundit or a host or paid contributor on a particular network. They do not include statements made by elected leaders, declared candidates or party officials.
So what’s the latest tally?
If you are one of the 15 million Mormon Church members and you still wish to call homosexuality a sin or an aberrant behavior, that has not changed. The big announcement is that Church of Latter Day Saints will protect LGBT people from discrimination in the workplace or in housing. Salt Lake City Mayor, Ralph Becker, stated:
“As the first city in Utah to successfully pass an ordinance guaranteeing protections for our LGBT residents in the areas of employment and housing, I laud the decision of LDS Church leaders to publicly re-visit today the support they showed for our local effort in 2009... I urge our state lawmakers to follow the lead of church officials and work to get this legislation passed in the current session. It’s just the right thing to do.”
Oh, the life of starry-eyed so-called journalists who think it's just awesome to be in with the in-crowd. Watch Mika, in particular, go on about how great it was to be invited into the inner sanctum of Koch donors and friends in Palm Springs last weekend.
"I thought the different programs they have had, the conversations they had, addressed really interesting questions," she said of the speakers at the event. "The kind of questions we address here at the table."
"A surprise to me," she continued, grasping for words before raving about Charles Koch's wife. "Liz Koch, ever met her? She's a ball of fire! And she's got this incredible program for helping the poorest of the poor kids in several inner cities that she's developed."
Brzezinski argued there is a lot of ignorance out there about the Koch ethos.
"I mean, it's everything that you don't think, and you don't know," she said. "There are different facets of the story you get to see when you actually go and observe events like this."
Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, weighed in, calling it a "great move" for the Kochs to have invited Brzezinski out to Palm Springs.
"It was a great move having Mika out there as a liberal, it was, I think, very important," he said.
Brzezinski turned to a guest at the table and said, "a lot of people were like, what are you doing here?" to laughs from the panel.
Via Daily Kos, some interesting news! Will Alan Grayson run for the Senate if Mark -- excuse me, Marco Rubio resigns to run for president? Can he beat out the competition? Can he win? Stay tuned as events unfold:
Outspoken Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson represents a safe Orlando-area district, but it seems he has bigger things in mind. Scott Powers of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Grayson istalking about running for U.S. Senate, where Republican incumbent Marco Rubio looks likely to give up his seat in order to run for president.
Grayson says he's waiting to see how the Democratic field develops and is in no hurry to make up his mind. He doesn't sound particularly afraid of his potential primary rivals ... with one exception. Grayson told the Sentinel, "I think that we'd be able to put together a very interesting and effective campaign. I think it would be likely that I get the Democratic nomination, unless Debbie Wasserman Schultz decides to run, which is certainly possible—in fact, likely." Still, Grayson sounds interested in going for it, even if he needs to get through Rubio.
Imagine being this kid's father, and feeling like he's taking his life in his hands when he goes to first grade. Just crazy:
Carl Krawitt has watched his son, Rhett, now 6, fight leukemia for the past 4 1/2 years. For more than three of those years, Rhett has undergone round after round of chemotherapy. Last year he finished chemotherapy, and doctors say he is in remission.
Now, there's a new threat, one that the family should not have to worry about: measles.
Rhett cannot be vaccinated, because his immune system is still rebuilding. It may be months more before his body is healthy enough to get all his immunizations. Until then, he depends on everyone around him for protection — what's known as herd immunity.
But Rhett lives in Marin County, Calif., a county with the dubious honor of having the highest rate of "personal belief exemptions" in the Bay Area and among the highest in the state. This school year, 6.45 percent of children in Marin have a personal belief exemption, which allows parents to lawfully send their children to school unvaccinated against communicable diseases like measles, polio, whooping cough and more.
The fact that this even needs to be said demonstrates that there’s been a breakdown in the democratic process, but we’ll say it anyway: Our number one priority should be protecting the planet for future generations. That said, green energy makes sense even if we base our thinking on economic considerations alone.
Energy policies can roughly be divided into two kinds: those that benefit society as a whole, and those that only benefit the very few – the Koch brothers and their ilk.
Guess which kind the GOP supports? Republicans are blocking pro-growth, job-creating green energy investments while pushing a pipeline that would enrich the few at the expense of the many – with potentially disastrous environmental consequences.
If you want to know why, follow the money.
The “99 Percent Plan”
A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute and the Center for American Progress (the “PERI-CAP” report) offers a plan to bring the United States in line with an international emissions-reduction goal: 40 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2035.
Incidentally, it has been upheld by the courts several times, IIRC, that public officials can't use their personal email accounts to evade public records laws, and this case is a perfect example of why. And yet, these lawbreakers get away with it, again and again and again. I suppose it would help if the voters didn't keep putting the secrecy cabals back in office:
Gov. Sam Brownback’s budget director used a private e-mail account to share a working version of the governor’s proposed budget with two lobbyists three weeks before it was unveiled to lawmakers.
Budget director Shawn Sullivan sent a draft of the proposal from his Yahoo account two days before Christmas to the private e-mails of several top administration officials and to the governor’s former chief of staff, David Kensinger, and his former campaign manager, Mark Dugan, both of whom are lobbyists.
The e-mail was obtained by The Eagle this week from a source outside the governor’s office.
In it, Sullivan lays out plans to increase taxes on cigarettes, take $350 million from the highway fund over 2 1/2 years and change the way the state funds schools in an effort to rein in costs.
Asked why two lobbyists had input into the budget process, Eileen Hawley, the governor’s spokeswoman, said, “I think you’re digging to find things that aren’t there … we sought the counsel of a lot of people in that process.”
As the reader knows, Scott Walker had hopped in the GOP clown car and went to Iowa to try out his campaign stump speech on the local yokels.
Part of his speech, Walker was boasting of the deformations that he caused to Wisconsin's education system. He crowed about how he took away seniority from the teachers and allowed school administrations to play favorites on who they kept and who they fired and who got raises and who didn't. To support his skewed sense of history, Walker told a tale regarding Megan Sampson, a Wisconsin teacher who was name teacher of the year the year before he took over but was laid off the next year.
What Walker didn't mention is that Ms Sampson and more than 3,400 other teachers lost their job that first year because Walker had taken a billion dollars out of the education system. Almost every single school district had to lay off teacher, increase class sizes and cut programs due to Walker blowing up their budget.
Few things annoy me as much as the media's collective ability to forget serious, significant events when it comes to evaluating candidates.
Here we have Sean Hannity tossing Sarah Palin aside for his new best pal Scott Walker. Whatever else it is, it's entirely to be expected from Sean and his cohorts at Faux News.
And here we have MSNBC glossing over all of the evil Walker and the Kochs have wrought on Wisconsin in order to pronounce him the next Tim Pawlenty.
Skip to the middle of this segment from The Last Word to see how Lawrence O'Donnell and his panel minimized all the corruption problems Walker has and more or less legitimized him as a candidate, if a milquetoast sort of candidate.
[embed eid="11793" /]
Just because Scott Walker is painting himself as Reagan incarnate doesn't mean they should be buying into it enough to forget all the union-busting and corruption in Wisconsin. To her credit, Krystal Ball at least brought up the terrible job creation numbers under Walker's leadership, which should be the lead counterpoint to any presidential campaign he intends to launch if they're not going to talk about why he is unfit to even set foot on the White House grounds, much less live there.
Here's my prediction: It will come down to Rand Paul, Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush. The rest of them will all be jockeying for the VP slot.
As the well-informed gentle reader knows, Rick Perry is facing indictments for abusing the powers of his former office. Needless to say, this would put a major hamper on his presidential bid.
In that light, Perry has twice tried to get the case kicked out of court. And he has failed twice.
It's nice to see these two guys stand together. Now if we could only get them to stand trial together.
H/T to my Cog Dis colleague, Jeff Simpson
Joe.My.God, : Eleven years after he was removed from office for refusing to remove a 10 Commandments monument in his court, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore says he will ignore a federal court ruling legalizing marriage equality in his state.
Zandar vs. The Stupid: “Like father, like son” is the last thing Rand Paul wants to hear.
Friendly Atheist: LDS Church announces support for LGBT rights, provided those rights don’t the religious freedom to discriminate.
Jeffrey Goldberg: Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress is a double disaster for Bibi.
Speaking of which, your quote of the day:
"This is not just the right of the Prime Minister of Israel. It is his most sacred duty." (Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, on Bibi’s speech to Congress about Iran, January 25, 2015)
[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]
While most American-born activists who become involved in defending Palestinian rights avoid becoming overt anti-Semites even while steadfastly criticizing Israel, Kenneth O’Keefe is not one of them.
O’Keefe, a former Marine-turned-antiwar and anti-environmental activist who specializes in what he calls “direct action,” has morphed in recent years into a raving, David Duke-endorsing anti-Semite, particularly in the speeches he gives to well-known white-supremacist groups.
The most noteworthy of these was O’Keefe’s speech to the IONA London Forum, a gathering of academically oriented white supremacists and anti-Semites held last August. The speech was noteworthy for its crude ugliness: the 50-plus-minute-talk by O’Keefe revolved around the repeated phrase “fucking Jews.”
[embed eid="11789" /]
You know, I remember as a kid, the worst insult you could say to somebody — which I didn’t even know the origin of it, but we used to all use it — and it was no basis of any kind of discrimination, it was just this term — and it was Jew. In the worst way, fucking Jew. You know, you’re a fucking Jew, or something like that.
Oh, you know it's sad when Sean Hannity can't even keep Sarah Palin in line. She just wandered off the reservation and into heavy traffic during this interview.
Clearly she had been coached by someone to look her best. Sit beside the fire, Ms. Palin, with your perfectly coiffed hair and impeccable makeup while Uncle Sean rehabilitates you.
But alas, it wasn't meant to be.
The beginning of the interview was a little rough, mostly because Sarah was having difficulty staying on script and sounding natural. As she's wont to do, she tossed the script and went with her gut, including a rant about Fox News, the media and Bill O'Reilly.
It begins right around 3:40 or so, when Hannity gently asks her if the teleprompter broke during her speech. After declaring that she received a standing ovation, so what's the big deal anyway, she went off on a bizarre rant about media. I've transcribed it as best as I can, but do not take credit for trying to punctuate the stream of consciousness.
PALIN: Knowing what the media is going to do throughout 2016, and my prediction -- Hillary will be running and she will be the knighted candidate on the left and with the media -- knowing what the media's going to do, it's going to take more than a village to beat Hillary.
There needs to be unity, understanding that conservatives have that strike against us, you know right off the bat, that media.
What is it with Republicans that a good number of them can't seem to open their mouths these days without calling the President of the United States "boy"? We were treated to Fox regular Ralph Peters doing it last month where he called President Obama a "child" for wanting to end the combat mission in Afghanistan. And former GOP VP nominee and national embarrassment Sarah Palin did the same over the weekend at wingnut Steve King's forum where she called President Obama a "overgrown little boy."
Never mind the fact that Jewish officials were not happy that Netanyahu didn't notify them first and with his decision to give the address. Paul was more content to undermine the president of his own country and assert that we should just be outsourcing our foreign policy to the Israelis, or more specifically, their right-wing hero BiBi who apparently can do no wrong, ever, in their minds.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart gave the cable "news" networks the treatment they deserved following their over-hyped coverage of "Blizzapocalypsegeddon 15," otherwise known at the Blizzard of 2015 that buried New England but didn't quite live up to all the hype we heard from weather forecasters and pundits alike when it comes to New York, which dodged a big bullet by narrowly missing the worst of the storm.
After first having a bit of fun with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's sign interpreter during his press conference and Stewart's interpretation of what he was really saying, even though he doesn't read sign language, Stewart moved on to the cable news reporters who were stuck out in the snow reporting, which we all have come to expect over the years. His real ire was saved for the likes of MSNBC's Chris Hayes and CNN's Don Lemon, who were both apparently forced to go out there and broadcast their entire shows from the networks' vehicles while telling everyone else they need to be staying off of the roads.
Pretty Things: "I hope the new female ghostbusters movie has a scene where they sit down a male ghost and teach him about respecting women."
Image from In Other News. Open thread below...
This issue was brought up by Tom Petty's publishing company, which contacted Smith's publisher about giving credit on the song. It is unknown as to what legal proceedings came out of this, if any, but it seems like Smith's people awarded Petty and Lynne songwriting credit without much resistance, seeing as the song only came out last April. A radio show actually compared the two songs by playing them on top of one another and changing their speeds and musical keys to match, and, sure enough, the chorus melody is right on. You see, in the world of copyright, you can only copyright two things while writing a musical work: melody and lyrics, nothing else. The lyrics aren't similar, but the spacing between those few notes in the chorus melody is the same. Whether Smith and his co-writers were struck with cryptomnesia or just plain didn't know about the Tom petty song, there's really no shame in accidental plagiarism. There's a whole lot of songs out there and some lines are bound to get crossed, so there's nothing wrong with that happening as long as its not intentional and you give credit where credit is due in a timely manner after being informed. It seems like both sides in this particular situation handled it pretty well.
Petty has also known to be pretty cool about people ripping him off accidentally or otherwise. He usually just brushes it off when it happens. So, here's some other songs that were claimed to be similar to some of Petty's other works: