In a welcome development, Elizabeth Warren, the leading Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, has posted a strong statement of support for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.[...]
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It was an impossible mission in pursuit of undefined goals. It's been more than time for them to come home, safe, to their country and loved ones. Now let's do the same in Afghanistan.U.S. President Barack Obama applauds troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)U.S. and Iraqi flags are carried in a ceremony in Baghdad Dec. 15 marking the official end of U.S. military mission in the war. The final troop withdrawal will be by Dec. 31 (Pablo Martinez/Reuters)U.S. Air Force Major Stacie Shafran carries her luggage to a loading paddock while waiting for her departure from Iraq (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)Best of luck to the Iraqi people, who must now struggle to survive in their broken country.
The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement just cut off the Maricopa County's Sheriff's Office's access to the Secure Communities program and terminated an agreement which lets them detain individuals in the country illegally after their initial arrest.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement that the decision was based on the Justice Department's findings of discriminatory policing practices by MCSO and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust. DHS will not be a party to such practices," Napolitano said. "Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO's 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office access to the Secure Communities program."
The 287(g) jail model agreement is the program which allows officers to screen individuals they arrest for immigration status and put detainers on them once they have been booked into jail.
Napolitano said that DHS "will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement's (ICE) immigration enforcement priorities." DHS, she said, "will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Maricopa County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor."
More on DOJ's findings against MCSO here.
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When The Big Dick likes you, you know you’re an asscake.
Newt Gingrich likes to promote himself as an academic with all the answers – academic answers similar to Creationism. The image fits well with his messianic complex as an oracle who preaches the perfection of what’s right – and we do mean right – and true. Plus, the “liberal” media gobbles it up like a plane crash making a smoking crater in the ground.
Of course, that doesn’t mean he lets facts get in the way. Newt has always had a loose grip on facts as foundations of academia. Accordingly, let’s say his academic credentials are a bit light.
In 1978, West Georgia College denied him tenure for failing to publish his “work”. He apparently felt that as God incarnate he needn’t follow the same rules as every other academic. God didn’t call to him. St. Newton of Gingrich called himself.
In 1993, he moved on to that world-class academic powerhouse, Kennesaw State College. He taught the appropriately pompous, ?Renewing American Civilization?, because if anyone could do it, he could.
God Created the World in 6 Days, Newt Can Do it in 10 Weeks
By ’84, he’d spread his gospel by moonlighting at the renown Reinhardt University. His Saving Private
Ryan America class only lasted 10 weeks. Afterall, God created the world in a whirlwind 6 days, so Newt left himself a little more because God was a slap dash sort of fellow and Newt wanted to get it right this time.
The gig at Reinhardt was the beginning of his undoing. He was Speaker of the House while singlehandedly creating his Contract On America in his own
graven craven image.
As Speaker, he was a strong leader in the image of Saddam Hussein. He left detractors in the desert to die. He scorched his friend’s earth. He developed partisan rancor to a level not previously seen. And, we still reap what he sowed.
Oh yeah, and he was schtupping several ladies while criticizing Clinton for his unseemly affairs of the cigar.
Newt quickly got a lesson in karma and why it’s stupid to piss people off – especially when they have power (even if you don’t think it can rival your own). That little “academic” moonlight gave rise to ethics charges that, if he’d been a more agreeable guy, probably would’ve been a slap on the wrist.
Spreading the Gospel of Newt
Newt 2011 is still spreading the Gospel of Newt. He pontificates and postures in a way that shames the true academic community. And to prove he’s all-knowing and seeing, Newt still does it like no one notices.
He has skin thinner than a condom (or John McThusela’s). He thinks it’s OK to put kids to work without acknowledging that’s a pretty tough sell – except for cronies who would never let it happen to their own kids. Notice he only preaches this for kids in certain kinds of neighborhoods – not rich ones, not ones where people don’t have money to send the kids to private schools, and not ones where
No Every Child Left Behind (an evil Federal law BTW) forces teachers to teach tests instead of the three Rs.
Betting that Newt will muzzle himself to avoid catastrophe gets 0-to-0 odds. He’ll still be a Messiah that trips over his loose tongue, still has enough skeletons in his closet to fill the Parisian catacombs, and still can’t keep it in his pants – despite making a tiny head nod to God by way of an apology for breaking the Ninth Commandment and promising to not do it again … many earlier episodes and hypocrisy to the contrary.
Democrats are salivating over Newt as candidate precisely because he sees himself as God. And, Gods aren’t known for their humility. Perhaps this time they can avoid snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, but that’s not a bet I’d take.
The gaggle of Republican candidates with a combined IQ lower than a turnip have done themselves in. And despite Democrats’ Pavlovian drooling, Newt probably will too. That leaves Mitt Runaway who is congenitally unable to take a position. Cultist, 1 percenter defender of the 99 percenters (when it’s convenient), and all around numbskull will get the nod.
Democrats hope the New Messiah runs, but the best they’ll get is Romney – safe, literally every man in the chameleon sense – unless there’s a resurgent Donald Trump or Moose Mamma. A dead guy could beat them.
Oddly, Romney will be hard to beat. In an uncertain and ugly world, strength trumps courage and the fearful migrate to the candidate who seems dull and dazzles them with unintelligible bullshite. On the other hand, Newt is the Professor of Ignorati 101 and there are a lot of ignorant people out there.
The democrats will have a hell of a time winning and prior experience shows that even Newt may not change that.
Let's take a quick look at what's happening in New Hampshire. This is the chart of the New Hampshire primary from TPMPolltracker. I've stripped out everyone besides Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Huntsman. After those four, who are all over 10%, you drop[...]
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Occupy Wall Street protester and Daily KOS contributor Jesse LaGreca, otherwise known as MinistryOfTruth, stopped by the set of the Ed Schultz show to discuss Time Magazine's selection of the protester as their "person of the year" that Diane wrote about here.
Naturally this has the right wingers over at Fox terribly upset with everyone from the crew at Fox & Friends, to Megyn Kelly and her guest Chris Plante and Eric Bolling during their show that filled Glenn Beck's former time slot, The Five going on the attack and using the opportunity to call the protesters every name in the book.
It was nice seeing LaGreca have another opportunity to push back against the media narrative we've seen from the likes of Fox and their protection of the richest among us and to weigh in on what he thought the exposure from Time Magazine might mean for the movement and how they've managed to change the narrative in the country for the most part where income disparity is now a part of our national conversation.
Schultz and LaGreca also discussed one of the runners up for Time Magazine's Person of the Year, Rep. Paul Ryan and the fact that policies being promoted from the likes of Ryan are the reason why there are people out protesting in the streets to begin with.
You can read more about LaGreca's recent lobbying effort in Washington DC here -- We lobbied Congress IN PERSON to support Sen. Sanders Constitutional Amendment. This is our story.
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple weighs in on the ongoing brouhaha over our reporting that Mitt Romney was employing a slogan on the campaign trail that was once used by the KKK. MSNBC mentioned our post yesterday morning, the Romney campaign went berserk, and then MSNBC began a long series of public apologies, including yet another one this morning. The only problem? They've not made clear what they're apologizing for, since the story was accurate. Here's Wemple's conclusion:
The unfortunate upshot of that moment is that Romney used a phrase deployed by the KKK in proximity to a reference to immigration policy. Therefore, the reference on MSNBC was fair, even if it lacked a response from the Romney people.So the big problem, according to MSNBC, is that their on air talent didn't get a statement from the Romney campaign before mentioning the story, when the Romney campaign is refusing to give a statement anyway? Would MSNBC's story really have been that different had they said "the Romney campaign refused to comment"? If anything, that would have made Romney sound even more guilty. In a way, MSNBC was doing Romney a favor. But in any case, why did MSNBC apologize?
Not that they would have gotten too far with the inquiries in any case. The Romney campaign wouldn?t respond to questions on the controversy. When I sent along the link to a Los Angeles Times story reflecting the candidate?s use of the phrase and asked for confirmation that it was an accurate report, I got nothing in response. Huffington Post got a similar treatment. Through the stonewalling, the Romney campaign signals its intent not to give its side of things but rather to flack the story out of existence through a series of no-comments.
Look at what Roberts didn?t say with his much-examined words. He didn?t say that Romney sympathized with the KKK, nor did he say that the candidate borrowed the phrase from the KKK. He said merely that the phrase was used by the KKK. The overlap could be the result a distasteful speech-writing accident or something just as harmless.
The rhetorical echo isn?t so much fair game as it is obligatory game. If a modern presidential candidate uses a catchphrase that was once deployed by one of U.S. history?s most hateful and divisive groups, what?s the excuse for failing to point that out? Writes Aravosis via-email: ?It feels like Mitt Romney yelled at the head of MSNBC, and he caved. And I think it?s fair to ask MSNBC to disclose the contents of any and all discussions they had with the Romney campaign yesterday.?
Who knows how it went ? neither side is talking about the ins and outs. What is clear is that Romney has flirted with coded and creepy nativist language on the stump. And when the consequences of his stump language emerged, his campaign appears to have complained to the one outlet that reported on it and stifled others. If MSNBC?s actions were appalling, then those actions qualify as well.
A few weeks ago, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich proposed an idea as ill-conceived as it is unconstitutional: drug-testing any American ?before you get any kind of federal aid.?
Gingrich?s idea for a national law came on the heels of a rash of new state legislation this year requiring welfare recipients to first submit to a drug test. The results in Florida showed just how silly the proposal is, with a mere two percent of welfare recipients testing positive for drugs.
ThinkProgress spoke with another Republican presidential contender this week, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, to get his thoughts on Gingrich?s proposal. Santorum poured cold water on the idea, refusing to support a federal requirement for drug-testing individuals who receive aid. ?The states should make that decision,? said the Pennsylvania Republican.
KEYES: You talked about welfare reform a lot and your role in bringing it in the 90s. The biggest debate on it recently is whether or not we ought to be drug-testing recipients of that.
SANTORUM: As you know, my feeling was cap it, put two requirements – time limits, work requirement – and let the states make the decisions.
KEYES: So a federal drug-testing requirement is not something you would support?
SANTORUM: That’s not something…it should be a state program, the states should make that decision.
As ThinkProgress? Tanya Somanader notes, Gingrich?s proposal ?would likely run headlong into the Constitution? because ?random drug testing is a suspicion-less search,? the likes of which courts have repeatedly struck down. Unfortunately for Santorum, his proposal to allow states to engage in suspicion-less drug testing is also unconstitutional.
During an interview with the Boston Herald on Wednesday, Mitt Romney reiterated his support for a federal amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman, but also said that he would establish three different tiers of marriage specifically for gay people:
Expressed support for a constitutional amendment that could create a complex three-tier system of marriage ? maintaining marriage rights for straight couples, allowing gays who have already married to remain married, but barring future same-sex marriages.
?I think it would keep intact those marriages which had occurred under the law but maintain future plans based on marriage being between a man and a woman,? Romney said.
The Romney of 1994 would have opposed this system entirely. As candidate for the senate running against Teddy Kennedy, Romney had argued that same-sex marriage is ?a state issue as you know ? the authorization of marriage on a same-sex basis falls under state jurisdiction.? (HT: Ned Flaherty)
Today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) — the home of ThinkProgress and the advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress (CAP) — announced some new leadership changes. Former Virginia Democratic Congressman Tom Perriello will be the president of CAPAF, and Tara McGuinness will be the head of our communications operations.
Perriello was a principled champion for progressive causes during his time in the House. Explaining his support for the Affordable Care Act, Perriello said, ?My ultimate goal is not to get reelected. It?s to know that I did the best damn job I could representing the people of the 5th District and making a difference.? He ran a tough uphill campaign in 2010, arguing, ?The choice in this election fundamentally is whether you?re with the people or want to protect the powerful, and the Republicans have shown they want to protect the powerful.? He ultimately lost, but stated, ?It’s more important to do what’s right than what’s easy.? We?re proud to have Tom as part of our team.
As for Tara, she?s been a critical ally in helping me grow ThinkProgress? staff, resources, and impact. With her continuing support, you can expect us to keep up the progressive fight and find new ways of being effective.