Answers: Democrats. Yes. When Republicans stop obstructing. Yes. Ask Boehner and McConnell.Remember Americans Elect? Of course you don't. No one does. It's an operation by Fox News Democrat Doug Schoen, former George W. Bush media consultant Mark McKinnon, former Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, political legacy and failed entrepreneur Nathan Daschle, and a bunch of other people who have decided that people aren't non-partisan-y enough?like them!
As far as I can tell, they believe that the Republican Party is being too Republican, while Democrats aren't being Republican enough. Therefore, they convinced themselves of the existence of some great American center that would then nominate their pals Michael Bloomberg or Olympia Snowe. Foolproof!
Problem is, all their assumptions ended up being wrong.
Last week was supposed to be the first week of online voting on the Americans Elect site, when anyone anywhere could click to endorse practiced politicians or to draft neophytes. But the candidate choices have remained decidedly low-profile, and traffic is meager on the site, which cost $9 million to construct. Scrambling to avert failure, Americans Elect has postponed online voting for a month.Nine million dollars to build a website? Holy crap. Now, two weeks later, that postponment has become an outright cancellation.
A group clearing the path for an independent White House bid on Tuesday canceled the first phase of its search for a bipartisan ticket because declared and draft candidates aren't mustering enough preliminary support.That's bad news for Americans Elect hopefuls like ... oh, who gives a shit. Clearly, no one does.
Americans Elect scrapped a virtual caucus that had been planned for next week. Another round of voting set for May 15 also is in jeopardy; a third is to be held on May 22. Candidates must meet a certain threshold of support to be eligible for the caucuses.
But apparently someone had to spend $9 million to find out, and that's fucking hilarious.
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According to ProgressivePunch, Mary Bono Mack's homophobic voting record-- she scores a 14.29 out of 100-- on roll calls of crucial import to the LGBT community, is better than almost any Republican's. Her husband, Cornelius the fourth, for example, scores a 12.50. The vast majority of Republicans score a 0.00. That's right, 230 Republicans-- from rapid homophobes like Steve King, Allen West, Internet pornographer Ben Quayle, Michele Bachmann, Buck McKeon, Virginia Foxx to purported model "centrists" like Paul Ryan, Peter King, Charlie Dent, Walter Jones and Fred Upton to deranged, trembling closet cases like Aaron Schock (who still hasn't found the "right gal"), David Dreier, Patrick McHenry, Trent Franks, and Adrian Smith (+ gay hating Blue Dogs Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre, Larry Kissell and Mike Ross) have voted against every single important roll call that would establish equality for the LGBT community. All 53 congressmembers with 100% voting records are Democrats and even the best-scoring Republicans, Richard Hanna, Nan Hayworth and Justin Amash, have miserable 50.00 scores.
Maybe what Mary Bono, who represents one of the biggest LGBT communities in the country, needs to tell the vote scores to stop stereotyping Republicans. Tuesday there was a big GOP campaign kerfuffle when the Romney camp, pressured by homophobic bigots, was forced to fire his one openly gay staffer, Richard Grenell, who happens to be a constituent of Bono Mack's. Far right extremists are dancing on the grave of Grenell's career and basking in the knowledge of just how easy it is to push Romney around. Watch:
Listen to Bryan Fischer explaining how the fringe right has been able to make Romney dance to it's tune-- and then go back and think about what Bono Mack said about not stereotyping Republicans. Oddly, soon after Grenell announced he was resigning, Bono Mack tweeted that he would be returning to Palm Springs and working for her campaign. That tweet seems to be scrubbed this morning. No trace of it-- except from the people who retweeted it... like Mike Signorelle:
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The U.S. Marshal Service announced Tuesday that it had captured one of America?s Most Wanted fugitives who is accused of creating a fake charity for Navy veterans that funneled some of the $100 million collected to Republican candidates.
Between the early 2000s and 2010, a man using the alias "Bobby Thompson" collected millions from unsuspecting donors for the charity U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA), which claimed to provide support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Officials believe that very little, if any, of the money was ever used as intended, according to the U.S. Marshal Service.
To help legitimize his charity, Thompson allegedly donated part of the ill-gotten funds to Republican candidates like former President George W. Bush, former Republican presidential candidate John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner.
Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reportedly personally pleaded with Thompson for donations and received $55,000 for his effort, making Thompson Cuccinelli's second-largest donor. Cuccinelli was eventually forced to turn over the tainted money to veterans support groups.
Over the years, Thompson also attended the 2008 Republican National Convention and numerous fundraisers. The Roanoke Times obtained photos of Thompson posing with Bush, Boehner and McCain -- as well as Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL), former Bush adviser Karl Rove and former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Thompson fled in 2010 after learning of a criminal investigation in several states. He was later charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, identity theft, fraud and money laundering.
A team of Deputy U.S. Marshals captured the fugitive in Portland, Oregon at approximately 10:30 p.m. Monday night. Authorities were still unaware of Thompson's real name and he refused to make a statement.
"This was one of our most challenging fugitive investigations to date," U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott said in a press advisory. "Our investigators followed up leads all over the nation. Their diligence and dedication directly led to the arrest in Portland. I am proud of everyone that worked on this investigation and their efforts have brought this scam artist to justice."
Thompson is now being held in Multnomah County Jail while he waits to be extradited to Northern Ohio.
The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) just became the fifteenth organization to disassociate itself with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative group responsible for crafting model legislation on a number of contentious issues.
In a press release, NBPTS — an organization that advocates for teacher certification as part of education policy — said that they no longer want to be associated with ALEC “given recent events.” While they do not specify their grievances, their addition to a long list of organizations to disaffiliate adds credence to the argument that groups are upset over ALEC’s role in pushing voter suppression and the so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws:
[S]ince December 2010, NBPTS participated in the Education Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) by sharing the impact and effectiveness of National Board programs with ALEC members, including state legislators. Given recent events, the new NBPTS President and CEO decided to discontinue engagement with ALEC. As a result, NBPTS terminated its membership as an Education Task Force Member of ALEC effective April 18, 2012, and also withdrew from participating in the upcoming ALEC conference.
Several advocacy groups have been calling on companies and non-profits to ditch ALEC, including Color of Change, Credo Action, and Sum of Us. But conservatives are fighting tooth and nail to protect their beloved policy-making institution, with one pundit going so far as to call Color of Change, an African American-driven action network, a “lynch mob.”
The argument doesn’t seem to be working, though, as the list of ALEC supporters continues to shrink. Groups that have dropped ALEC include: Kaplan, Procter & Gamble, Yum! Brands, five Pennsylvania legislators, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Reed Elsevier, American Traffic Solutions, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Intuit, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wendy?s, Mars, Inc., and Arizona Public Service.
A coalition of religious groups endorsed California Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) proposal to raise taxes on the rich to help balance the state’s budget, the National Catholic Reporter reports. Brown’s plan, which raises taxes on Californians with incomes over $250,000, is aimed at helping avoid cuts to schools and education programs. About 200 religious leaders from the PICO National Network, based in Oakland, promised Brown that they would encourage their members to vote for the plan, which is expected to qualify for the state ballot. According to recent polls, more than 60 percent of California voters support the proposal.
I was so, so sorry to hear of the death by gunshot wound in an apparent suicide of linebacker Junior Seau, who played for the Patriots between 2006 and 2009. It’s too soon to know whether Seau’s death is linked to brain injury?the Boston Globe points out that Seau appears to have shot himself in the chest rather than the head, as did late Bear Dave Duerson, who wanted to preserve his brain for scientific study?or a sad conclusion to other troubles. Seau was hospitalized after falling asleep at the wheel in 2010, and arrested on assault charges. No matter the cause, it’s sad to see someone who gave me so much pleasure leaving football to something other than a happy, fulfilling retirement.
Yesterday, a federal judge ordered Oakland’s police department to submit a plan to address numerous unresolved complaints regarding their handling of the Occupy Oakland protests, warning that failure to comply within a week could lead to sanctions. District Judge Thelton Henderson’s mandate comes just a day after the release of a report by an outside monitor that concluded Oakland police used “an overwhelming military-type response” to Occupy’s demonstrations — the first official report to confirm Occupy Oakland’s struggles against police brutality.
The Oakland police department has received more than 1,000 misconduct complaints since the Occupy protests began, most have which have become backlogged. The department has been under court-ordered external monitoring and review since 2003, after four officers were accused of planting evidence, fabricating police reports and using excessive force. Henderson’s mandate sets strict deadlines for the department to clean up its act while continuing to comply with the reforms that stemmed from that 2003 case:
HENDERSON: It would be problematic enough if, as seems inevitable, [Oakland police's] compliance levels were to backslide as a result of their failure to address the Occupy Oakland complaints in a timely fashion. Such failures would be further indication that, despite the changed leadership at the City of Oakland and its police department, [Oakland police] might still lack the will, capacity, or both to complete the reforms to which they so long ago agreed. The court will consider appropriate sanctions, including the imposition of daily or weekly monetary sanctions, until compliance is achieved.
The Oakland police force’s clashes with Occupy demonstrators have been well-documented on ThinkProgress. On October 25, police attempted to subdue protesters with heavy-handed tactics such as rubber bullets, flash grenades, and smoke bombs — and ended up injuring an Iraq War veteran in the process. The Oakland police department later rejected an ACLU public records request to investigate the October events, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan’s legal adviser resigned in outrage over the city’s treatment of the Occupy protesters.
Proponents of North Carolina’s discriminatory Amendment One have campaigned heavily on the foundation of legal perspectives from Campbell University School of Law, which has a conservative Baptist affiliation. Apparently, though, even the students at Campbell oppose Amendment One. Last month, over half of the entire student body signed on to a resolution that condemned the measure as divisive, harmful to domestic partners, and stigmatizing to LGBT families. It doesn’t bode well for conservatives that Campbell University has the only legal experts willing to defend the amendment and its own students oppose it.
President Barack Obama?s counterterrorism chief John Brennan delivered a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center on Monday on the ?ethics? and ?efficacy? of the Obama administration counterterrorism policy. He particularly explained the policy of using[...]
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