The Supreme Court is deliberating on a case that could determine the future of the Fair Housing Act.
Rep. Steve King hosts some of the Republican Party’s biggest stars at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. Former Gov. Rick Perry, Gov. Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee deliver their speeches.
Sarah Palin has never been one to shy away from controversy — and now she’s jumping into a new one over the film "American Sniper."
Watch the full press conference: New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick talks about the science involved in his internal investigation into the accusations that his team's footballs were deflated in the AFC championship game.
Meg Wiehe, State Tax Policy Director at the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, breaks down for Ayman Mohyeldin recent numbers showing a decline in lottery sales.
The National Journal's Lauren Fox and The Washington Post's David Nakamura join Ayman Mohyeldin to discuss the potential for President Obama to work with Republicans on any of the proposals laid out in his State of the Union address.
Sen. Benjamin Cardin, D-Md., talks with Ayman Mohyeldin about the fate of U.S. counter-terrorism operations in Yemen as the country sinks deeper into political chaos in the face of an increasingly powerful Houthi rebel insurgency.
Jeb Bush reaffirmed his support for a path to legal status as other potential 2016 candidates gathered around the GOP's most prominent hardliner on the issue.
Jimmy Williams, Executive Editor at BlueNationReview.com, and Mercedes Schlapp, former Spokesperson for President George W. Bush, react to a surprising new tone being adopted by leading GOP 2016 contenders Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
Republican presidential prospects are making their opening pitch to conservative activists at the Iowa Freedom Summit on Saturday.
It sounds like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney covered a wide range of topics at their meeting Thursday in Utah -- except the one on everybody's mind.Bush was asked about the meeting on a Friday at an event in San Francisco, the Washington Post reported. He said the two potential 2016 contenders, who are expected to vie for many of the same donors and voters if they both decide to run, chatted about the National Football League -- but they didn't really touch on the fact that they could be political opponents soon. “We talked about the Patriots,” Bush said. “We talked a little bit about politics, not as much as you might imagine. We talked about the future of the country. We talked about the need for a more engaged foreign policy," Bush said. "The awkward side of this, about running and such, we put aside.”
A former Israeli ambassador to the United States said Saturday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should cancel his upcoming March address to Congress on Iran at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner's request."The behavior over the last few days created the impression of a cynical political move, and it could hurt our attempts to act against Iran," former ambassador Michael Oren said, according to Ynet News. "It's advisable to cancel the speech to Congress so as not to cause a rift with the American government. Much responsibility and reasoned political behavior are needed to guard interests in the White House." The White House has called Netanyahu address at Boehner's request, done without consultation with the Obama administration, a breach of diplomatic protocol. President Barack Obama will not meet with Netanyahu when he visits, with the White House citing the March 17 Israeli elections.Oren was tabbed late last year to run for a seat in the Israeli legislature with the centrist Kulanu Party in the March elections. He had been appointed as ambassador to the United States by Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing Likud Party, in 2009. He served in the post until 2013.
The Islamic State has purportedly beheaded one of the two Japanese hostages it is holding, according to a report Saturday morning.The SITE Intelligence group reported that hostage Haruna Yukawa had been beheaded in a newly released video. Japanese Hostage Haruna Yukawa Beheaded, Second Hostage Stipulates New IS Demand in Video http://t.co/O3UUxQ5oCV pic.twitter.com/dIowiYlRJ6— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) January 24, 2015The terrorist group had demanded a $200 million ransom for the hostages.
In a cherished presidential cycle tradition, Donald Trump is trying to insert himself into the 2016 conversation.For starters, he gave a sit-down interview to the all-important Des Moines Register, which was published Friday. In it, he took some shots at presumptive GOP frontrunners Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney, while lamenting that he didn't run in 2012, when he also teased at a presidential bid before backing out. "I was leading in every poll. ... I regret that I didn't stay in," Trump told the Register. "I would've won the race against (President Barack) Obama. He would've been easy. Hillary (Clinton) is tougher to beat than Obama, but Hillary is very beatable."He in turn criticized Romney for not triumpihng over a vulnerable Obama."He failed. He choked. He's like a deal-maker that didn't close the deal. He shouldn't be running again. He had a great opportunity to win against a president that was absolutely lame, and he didn't do it," Trump said. "The 47 percent statement, which was a disaster, is not going away. Romneycare is not going away. All of his problems are not going away. He should get out and get out quickly."On Bush, he added: "Frankly we've had enough of the Bushes. We're bushed out."But fear not, ardent Trump watchers: A decision could come by the summer."It's too early for me to say," he said. "I may make a decision to run before June. But I'm strongly inclined to do so."
In a big unexpected twist in the new Congress, Senate Republicans are reportedly crafting a plan to do away with the 60-vote filibuster for Supreme Court justice nominees.Politico reported Friday evening that the plan, though in its early stages, was being led by Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Roy Blunt (R-MO). “What we would like to do is adopt by rule the way the Senate has always operated,” Alexander told Politico. “The history of the Senate has been up-or-down votes, as I call them, at 51.”The proposal, which might require a two-thirds vote to take effect, has not yet been circulated widely among the GOP caucus.But that it is even being considered is surprising after Senate Republicans decried last year, while they were still in the minority, the decision by Senate Democrats to do away with the 60-vote filibuster for administrative and judicial nominees -- with the important exception of Supreme Court candidates."I say to my friends on the other side of the aisle: you'll regret this," current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at the time. "And you may regret it a lot sooner than you think."Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), now chair of the Judiciary Committee, actually warned that day in November 2013 that Republicans would actually expand on the move by Democrats and do away with the filibuster for the Supreme Court, too, once they took back the majority.As Politico observed, the move would be a big boon to whichever party controls the Senate and White House after the 2016 elections. But it could also have more immediate implications, depending on how quickly the GOP Senate acts. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Antonin Scalia and Anthony Kennedy are all 78 or older, and some Democrats have urged the liberal Ginsburg to retire so that President Barack Obama would have the opportunity to appoint another justice before he leaves office.Ginsburg has thus far said that she won't bow to that pressure.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Yemen's U.S.-backed president stepped down this week after Houthi rebels seized the capital of Sanaa, further destabilizing the region and hampering America's ability to fight al-Qaida and other extremists targeting the West. The country's parliament will meet Sunday, but the government's future is unclear. Five reasons why Americans should care about what is happening in Yemen, a country slightly smaller than Texas situated on the southern border of Saudi Arabia:AQAPYemen is home to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the attack on a Paris satirical magazine this month.Washington has long viewed AQAP as the global terrorist network's most dangerous branch. The group has been linked to a number of failed attacks on the U.S., including a 2009 attempt to down a U.S.-bound jetliner using explosives hidden in a militant's underwear and a plot the following year to ship bombs concealed in printer cartridges to the U.S. on cargo planes from the Gulf.AQAP has thrived in the wake of the rebel offensive to oust President Abed Rabbo Hadi and his cabinet. U.S. officials say the unrest already is undermining military and intelligence operations against AQAP.The Pentagon's press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said Friday, "We need to get a much better understanding of where things are going politically in Yemen before we can make any new decisions or ... move forward in any significant way on counterterrorism in Yemen."US DRONE CAMPAIGNHadi's resignation leaves the U.S. without a faithful partner amid its drone-strike and counter-terrorism campaign.For several years, the CIA and the military's Joint Special Operations Command have run parallel targeted killing programs in Yemen. There were 23 U.S. drone strikes in Yemen last year and 23 the year before, according to Long War Journal, which tracks the strikes based on local media reports. The U.S. military also has trained elite counterterrorism units of Yemen's military that have battled al-Qaida.Hadi's demise comes four months after President Barack Obama cited Yemen as a terrorism success story in a September speech outlining his strategy against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, which involves targeted U.S. strikes on militants with the cooperation of a friendly ground force. Obama called it an approach "that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years."IRANThe Houthis are seen as a proxy of Shiite Iran and are allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled the country for more than three decades before he was ousted in 2012 after Arab Spring protests. While the militants deny any Iran link, their slogan, "Death to Israel, Death to America!" is a variation of a popular Iranian slogan.In recent years, Yemeni authorities have seized ships carrying Iranian weapons allegedly destined for the Houthis. The Saudis, who oppose Iran, view the Houthis as both an Iranian proxy and a terrorist organization. Riyadh fears the group will create a mini-state on its southern border.GUANTANAMO BAY DETAINEESObama authorized the transfer of detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison nearly two years ago amid high hopes that Hadi would help the U.S. fight terrorists in his country. The transfer authority, however, was never used because AQAP has thrived amid government instability and ongoing threat from al-Qaida militants.The Obama administration said recently that the U.S. is not considering sending any of the Yemeni detainees back to their homeland for the foreseeable future because of volatile conditions in the country.That could make it even harder for Obama to make good on his 2008 campaign promise to close the U.S. military prison for terrorism suspects. Nearly two-thirds of the remaining 122 detainees are from Yemen.THREAT TO THE USAlthough the Houthis hold an anti-American sentiment similar to that of Iranian hardliners and there have been sporadic incidents of violence involving U.S. interests in Yemen, they have in several public statements denied any intent to target the United States, its embassy or its personnel in Sanaa. "Obviously, we expect and call on them to abide by" those statements, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Friday. The department has reduced American staffing at the embassy to a bare minimum, but the mission remains open and there are no plans to close it. U.S. officials do not believe rebel group poses a direct threat to American interests. ___Associated Press writers Lolita C. Baldor and Matthew Lee contributed to this report.Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A photo of Sarah Palin was posted to Facebook on Friday showing the former Republican vice presidential nominee holding a sign that read "Fuc_ You Michael Moore." Palin was pictured alongside two men, one of whom appears to be Sgt. Dakota Meyers, a Medal of Honor recipient, and the person who apparently posted the image.Meyers posted the image with the caption "Here's a tribute to you Michael Moore. Share it and make it trending #michaelmoore."Both instances of the letter "o" in Moore were replaced with what appeared to be crosshairs in the handmade sign shown in the photo.Michael Moore has received criticism from conservatives for his scathing comments on "American Sniper" a movie based on the autobiography of former Navy SEAL and sniper Chris Kyle.Mediaite received the photo on Friday via a tip, which Editor in Chief Andrew Kirell shared on Twitter:This just came into our tips bin… lol pic.twitter.com/i7Awlq5784— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) January 23, 2015The photo landed as Palin has been considering a 2016 presidential bid. When asked by an ABC News correspondent whether she'd consider entering the race for the Republican nomination, Palin said, "Of course.""Yeah, I mean, of course, when you have a servant's heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested," Palin said.Palin received flak in March 2010 for a Facebook post of a map with crosshairs showing Democrats who had voted for health care reform in conservative districts, including Gabrielle Giffords' district. After Giffords was shot in the head at an event in Arizona, an aide of Palin's was forced to explain that her map wasn't meant to represent gun sights and that blaming her was "obscene" and "appalling."
Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin told ABC News on Thursday that "of course" she is interested in running for president in 2016. “Of course, when you have a servant’s heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested,” the former Alaska governor said during an appearance at a Las Vegas Salvation Army.Palin stepped back when the reporter asked directly if she was going to run, saying that the Republican candidate “doesn’t necessarily have to be me." But, she added, she would be "happy to drive that competition." She also said that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic candidate to beat, and added: "We definitely had enough of seeing that -- America has had enough of seeing that -- sign on the Oval Office door saying, 'No Girls Allowed.'"Palin is slated to appear at the Iowa Freedom Summit alongside potential Republican presidential candidates Sen. Ted Cruz (TX), New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Saturday. Watch below, courtesy of Nightline:
Two arch-conservatives unveiled legislation on Friday to revoke the U.S. citizenship of anyone who seeks to join a group designated by the State Department as a foreign terrorist organization. The Expatriate Terrorist Act, offered by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), amends the Immigration and Nationality Act so as to deny an American passport to — or strip the existing citizenship of — an individualwhom the Secretary has determined is a member, or is attempting to become a member, of an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist pursuant to section 12 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 13 U.S.C. 1189)."I believe these American terrorists have voluntarily renounced their citizenship upon taking an oath to a foreign terrorist organization (FTO)," King said in a statement.In a sign that the legislation has legs in Congress, it is co-sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, which oversees immigration policy.Greg Siskind, an immigration lawyer based in Tennessee, said it's "not easy" to lose one's citizenship but the Immigration and Nationality Act already "has a list of what are called expatriating acts that you can sometimes lose your citizenship for. For instance, being an officer in a foreign army ... or treason.""I was kind of surprised that serving in a terrorist organization is not already on there," he said. "Under current rules I don't think there's anything you can do to strip them of their citizenship."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been named as the ranking member on a Senate Banking subcommittee overseeing employment, price stability, and economic growth. The new position as the ranking member on the Banking committee's subcommittee on Economic Policy will further cement Warren's role as one of the more powerful Democrats on economic policy. Warren has made Wall Street's influence in the halls of Congress her signature issue. One of her more notable moments in the Senate was her grilling financial regulators and banking chiefs. More recently she has fought tooth and nail to prevent measures rolling back parts of Dodd-Frank from becoming law. Warren already has a role at the Democratic leadership table that was custom made for her by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).Warren's appointment to the subcommittee was announced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH), the ranking Democrat on the Banking Committee, on Friday. The subcommittee was actually the first subcommittee Brown chaired when he joined the Banking Committee. Earlier in the week Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he hoped he could develop a close working relationship with Warren.
Conservatives cried foul this week over evidence that Washington, D.C. police had wanted to arrest ex-NBC anchor David Gregory for famously flashing a gun-magazine on air in 2012 during an interview with the head of the National Rifle Association. It was first reported in January 2013 that the D.C. attorney general's office had declined to prosecute the "Meet the Press" host despite the district's tough gun laws.Last year, the conservative blog Legal Insurrection tapped the conservative Judicial Watch organization to file a Freedom of Information lawsuit in order to obtain Gregory's arrest warrant affidavit. On Thursday, they announced victory and released the document.The affidavit showed that the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department recommended a warrant for Gregory’s arrest, which was subsequently dismissed by the attorney general.Or, in the words of Legal Insurrection, "the request was nixed by the D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan because — my paraphrase — Gregory was just too nice a guy and had no other criminal intent."Elsewhere, gun rights blog "Shall Not Be Questioned," summed up the incident as another case of double standards for a "celebrity.""He’s getting off because he has the best immunity in the world: celebrity," the blog wrote. "Like you and me only better, indeed.""Know your place, peasants!" wrote conservative blogger and electric dryer salesman Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.Several of the blogs circulated a meme of Gregory holding the magazines on-air displaying the words "if I were you, I'd already be in jail."The news was also widely shared by conservative pundits such as Mark Levin and sites such as Free Republic.
The former U.S. Senate candidate and neo-Nazi from Kentucky who ran in 2014 under the slogan "With Jews We Lose" was arrested on Monday at a Martin Luther King, Jr., Day event in Florence, Ky. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported the arrest on Thursday and noted that Robert Ransdell was carrying a sign that read "Happy Machin' Lootin' Killin' Day" before he was arrested by police. Ransdell was charged with trespassing in a government building, according to the SPLC's "Hatewatch" blog.Ransdell told the neo-Nazi website, The Daily Stormer, that he felt "depressed at the fact that I was arrested" and lamented that he was put into custody by "agents of the Jew-Negro Occupation government."Ransdell was eventually released and said he had to walk more than 10 miles to his car. Along the way, he said, he stayed true to his protest. He told The Daily Stormer he held his sign for the duration of his walk in defiance of “this rotten, phony, hypocritical, Jew-controlled, non-White infested shithole of a country.”In addition to facing a $250 fine, Ransdell told the website, he has a court appearance scheduled for Feb. 3.While Ransdell was admittedly dejected by this, his first arrest, he seemed to take solace in the fact that Holocaust Remembrance Day was approaching. “We have hoax remembrance day coming very soon,” Ransdell said, “so there will not be long to wait.”
A segment on Friday's "Fox and Friends" chastised Arizona State University for offering a course this spring that examines the "problem of whiteness." Co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck spoke with Lauren Clark, an ASU student who was disturbed by a course in the school's English department titled "Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness." Clark is also a writer for Campus Reform, a student news website backed by the Leadership Institute, which organizes conservative groups on campus.Clark took issue with the class book list, which included titles like "Everyday Language of White Racism" and "Possessive Investment in Whiteness." A syllabus for the class was not available online."All of these books have a disturbing trend and that's pointing to all white people as the root cause of social injustices for this country," Clark said.Hasselback then asked Clark whether ASU would dare offer a course called "The Problem With Blackness" or "The Problem With Being Female." "I don't think that would fly at the university," Clark responded. "Quite frankly, as an ASU student myself, I'm disappointed that my school would offer a course like this. Clearly we have a lot of work to go as a society in terms of racial tension, but having a class that suggests an entire race is the problem is inappropriate, wrong, and quite frankly, counter productive."Hasselback added that she thought the course seemed "quite unfair and wrong and pointed." When contacted by TPM on Friday, Lee Bebout, the white professor teaching the class, referred questions to the university's press office. The university issued the following statement on the course to TPM:This course uses literature and rhetoric to look at how stories shape people’s understandings and experiences of race. It encourages students to examine how people talk about – or avoid talking about – race in the contemporary United States. This is an interdisciplinary course, so students will draw on history, literature, speeches and cultural changes – from scholarly texts to humor. The class is designed to empower students to confront the difficult and often thorny issues that surround us today and reach thoughtful conclusions rather than display gut reactions. A university is an academic environment where we discuss and debate a wide array of viewpoints.Watch below:
The mayor of Norwood, Ohio, wrote that "police officers across the country are under attack by race-baiting black leaders and cowardly elected officials" in a letter to the city's police officers made public Wednesday Mayor Thomas Williams wrote the letter on Dec. 22, just days after two New York City police officers were ambushed and killed while sitting in their patrol car. The killings followed months of protests throughout the nation over the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of white police officers.Williams said the Norwood Police Department has "always performed its duties in an exemplary fashion and held its high standard of conduct without any outside influence." He added that if "God forbid, something controversial would happen, I WILL NOT ABANDON YOU."The Norwood Police Department is no stranger to controversy. An officer was forced to resign in November of 2012 after being videotaped inside the police station hurling a woman against a wall, Cincinnati television station WXIX reported. That same officer was sued for police brutality by another individual the following year, according to WXIX.Read the letter below:With recent events across the country, I feel compelled to express my thoughts in writing as police officers across the country are under attack by race-baiting black leaders and cowardly elected officials.As you know, Norwood, in the past, has been portrayed in a negative fashion by some. The Norwood Police Department has always performed its duties in an exemplary fashion and held its high standard of conduct without any outside influence.As always, now is the time to be extra cautious while performing your duties. Back each other and take nothing for granted. Let it be known that, God forbid, something controversial would happen, I WILL NOT ABANDON YOU. As I have always said, your number one goal is to go home to your family at the end of your shift. God Watch Over The Norwood Police Department. Fraternally yours, Thomas F. Williams, Mayor, City of Norwoodh/t Raw Story.Screengrab via WXIX.
Over at The Slice, Alana Levinson explains why Millennials won't vote for old, white dudes just because they tweet like teens. Boehner, we're lookin' at you.
Disneyland measles outbreak casts spotlight on anti-vax moron community.
Crybaby Speaker John Boehner isn't known to "Shake It Off." But that changed last week when his staff posted “12 Taylor Swift GIFs for you,” which gif-splained the reasons why Obama’s idea to provide free community college to all Americans won’t work. “60 billion dollars is a lot of money,” reads the caption above a hip-popping Swift gif. “You can't just shake it off.”This wasn’t the first time Boehner’s team has turned to the language of social media to connect with people. They’re big fans of Buzzfeed-esque listicles, employing them to hit Republican talking points. Shark gifs pepper a post on why Senate Dems shouldn't ignore the House Republicans' jobs bill, and moments from How I Met Your Mother break down the budget process.Corporations are also jacking The Youth’s parlance to sell products—often to hilarious effect. The goal seems to be mimicking teens on social media, by using whatever slang term is “on fleek” at the moment— like “bae" and "bruh." This strategy has become so notorious, it’s even inspired a Twitter account that pokes fun at it: Brands Saying Bae.The person who tweeted this is 35 years old and has asked their barber for "the Macklemore" on more than one occasion pic.twitter.com/B6bGnXBP6j— Brands Saying Bae (@BrandsSayingBae) December 28, 2014One such brand is Taco Bell, whose owner Greg Creed told investors that “there’s not a millennial that wants to be marketed to.” Instead the focus is engagement: “What everyone wants to have is a dialogue with a brand.”People want dialogue with their politicians, too, especially during elections. So even though I’m yet to see a politician tweet “bae,” it’s no wonder they turn to a Taco Bell-like strategy: A Pew study that explored social media use during the 2014 campaign season found that more than twice as many Americans followed political candidates on social media than during the 2010 midterms. Supporters of both parties were equally likely to follow politicians.These Americans are important not just because the largest group are young (ages 18-29). They’re critical because they tend to be more engaged with other aspects of the campaign: more likely to volunteer, make a campaign contribution and encourage their friends to support a candidate.But what, exactly, do people get out of following a politician on social media, other than news updates? 35 percent say that feeling more personally connected to political candidates or groups is a “major reason.” Though Boehner spokesman Michael Steel wouldn’t tell Business Insider editor Hunter Walker whether Boehner is, in fact, a true Taylor Swift fan, he did nod to this idea in a canned statement:"We are always looking for fun, effective ways to communicate with the American people about President Obama's failed policies, and our better solutions,” Steel said. “As Speaker Boehner says, 'you have to reach people where they are.’” Of course, a politician using popular culture to seem more relatable is not new; it just used to look more like Bill Clinton busting out the saxophone on “The Arsenio Hall Show” during the 1992 campaign. Now, as Steel points out, it’s about meeting fresh, new voters where they already are, and that’s online.In an ideal world, a politician’s cool façade would translate into votes—right, bb? Not so much, if the most recent midterms are any indication. Midterms typically have lower turnout than presidential elections, but 2014 was particularly grim; we saw the lowest voter turnout in more than seven decades. Voter aged 18 to 29 made up only 13 percent of the electorate, and there were 14 million fewer young voters than in 2012.Still, there’s that one time Millennials made it to the voting booth, that election whose twentysomething turnout has yet to be matched. In 2007, Obama met with a skeptical Marc Andressen, founder of Netscape, and told him about his plans to harness the power of the Internet through online organizing. A year later, he had the votes of 66 percent of those under age 30 and Democratic Party ID among voters aged 18 to 29 was at its highest since 1972.Laura Olin, a digital campaigner who has worked for the Obamas and Joe Biden, says her clients understand that speaking fluent Internet would be their best bet of "getting people to pay attention to what we were putting out.” But, she says, "we were very conscious of not falling into the trap brands now fall into of trying so hard that they sound utterly lame as a result.”Indeed, media types have snarked at clumsier attempts. It’s easy to come off as the embarrassing dad trying to sound cool. Olin’s advice for “avoiding lameness is being pretty subtle and choosing our moments carefully.” That means creating the kind of content she would want to read herself. “We were our target demographic—I was 29 when I joined the campaign and my three-person team had an average age of 27,” she says of the 2012 campaign.Still, if you look at pure followers as an indication of success, perhaps “real America” isn’t really craving subtlety. Denny’s, a shining star among brands who bae, has 177,000 Twitter followers, and serves up tweets like this, which got more than 10,000 retweets:where's my bae**bacon and eggs ;)— Denny's (@DennysDiner) June 28, 2014So, can politicians—for whom “real America” is the holy grail—scoop up votes this way?It’s doubtful, given Millennials’ aversion to labels or affiliation. Yes, we are digital natives, but studies also show we’re unattached to organized politics and religion, burdened by debt and distrustful of institutions. A Pew survey revealed that half of Millennials describe themselves as independents, and that this is the highest level of political disaffiliation for any generation in the past quarter century.That politicians are known for being inauthentic, on the internet or off, doesn’t help win over a jaded generation. Few people are likely fooled that 88-year-old former Michigan Rep. John Dingel—who spent 59 years in congress before retiring this fall—wrote this holiday jingle, or used emojis, or hashtagged #YOLO:Wife is working late tonight. Might eat ice cream for dinner. #YOLO— John Dingell (@JohnDingell) January 21, 2015(Christopher Schuler, who worked on Dingell’s communications team, told me that they worked on his tweets together, though he declined to comment further.)However, completely fooling people may not be the point. Using this kind of language attempts to say: Even if I didn't tweet this, I’m surrounded by people who “get it.” And whether or not that means votes, an online following is better than nothing. Dingell, for example, has been hailed the best of political Twitter by media. He had 9,587 followers on Jan. 1 of last year, and now has more than 23,000.But times have changed since Obama coasted to victory with the help of then-new social networks. Now that we are eight years into Tumblr, nine years into Twitter and eleven into Facebook, the bar for social media greatness is higher. As Olin points out: “We did all this in the years before brands adopting internet slang was a big thing. They were more innocent times.” Now, it’s not enough to simply be online and throw around a few funny memes, especially if you’re an old, white Republican man whose politics clash with those of a diverse generation. To paraphrase Obama himself, you can put a hashtag on a pig, but...In the end, the authenticity only goes as far as their Twitter accounts—which, like T. Swift herself, are highly curated despite a blithe exterior. Yes, Boehner’s staff is wielding Swift gifs, but when asked about it further, they offer just a generic statement. Besides, it's unclear if young people really want their politicians to speak and act exactly like them.Maybe the trick, when it comes to Political Twitter, is to just be yourself (as long as it doesn’t involve a Carlos Danger scenario). This is a concept that’s heresy to most politicians and their staff, though when it comes to online life, some are better than others. Sen. Cory Booker, who has more than a million Twitter followers, simply tweets as he would speak. Though that means sometimes posting a cringeworthy inspirational quote, he also uses the platform to connect with his base in a more meaningful way. Booker has invited Hurricane Sandy victims over to his house for a charge:There is someone at my house now (Eric). I've got space u can relax in, charge devices & even a working DVD player. Come by @my_serenelove— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 1, 2012He's fielded complaints from constituents:On it. RT @ProducerJon: traffic light at Pennington and McCarter is out.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 11, 2013He's even offered updates after he saved a woman from a burning house:Thanks everyone, my injuries were relatively minor. Thanks to Det. Alex Rodriguez who helped get all of the people out of the house.— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) April 13, 2012Similarly, Claire McCaskill, who Olin says is one of the only politicians she knows of who runs her own social media. During her 2012 campaign, her digital director didn't even have the passwords to her accounts.So much fun to be part of amazing group asked by @StephenAtHome to sing him off his last show.Gonna miss that jerk. pic.twitter.com/f5HlbyPJrP— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 19, 2014Or consider politicians like Sen. Chuck Grassley, whose often incomprehensible tweets are basically the opposite. They read like they’re written by a drunk, malfunctioning robot:Ûü— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) November 3, 2011Sort filesFOUND survey of CongressSpouses in '84CBS"FamilyWeekly" MrsGrassley said"If he hadn't at least tried he would have been unhappy"— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) December 31, 2014Fred driving me. He said Tues b4 new yr day he hit deer. Don't hv to assume anything. He told deer dead I wasn't w him that nite— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) January 9, 2015There's something endearing, even revolutionary, about a politician embracing being digitally tone deaf. Because at least he’s being real.
The ex-chief of Atlanta's fire department filed a federal complaint Wednesday alleging that the city discriminated against him when he was dismissed for publishing a book that contained offensive comments on homosexuality. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that former fire Chief Kelvin Cochran filed a complaint with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The attorney backing Cochran's legal effort is allied with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a nonprofit that advocates for freedom to express one's faith, according to the newspaper.Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) fired Cochran earlier this month, following a 30-day suspension while the city investigated the ex-chief's self-published book "Who Told You That You Are Naked?" Reed stressed at the time that he didn't terminate Cochran for his religious beliefs, but because Cochran published the book without his permission and because its passages on homosexuality -- including comparing it to a "perversion" like bestiality -- could make the city vulnerable to discrimination complaints.The mayor was unfazed by the complaint on Thursday."He can get all of the lawyers he wants so that he can continue to have publicity and sell books, but he's going to lose the legal case," Reed told local TV station WAGA. "What is not disputed is he never communicated with me, the chief executive officer, prior to the publication of the book. It's clearly out of bounds."Evangelicals and conservatives, including RedState editor Erick Erickson, have taken up Cochran's cause. Erickson slammed Cochran's dismissal in a blog post and on his radio show, seizing on the deadly terror attacks earlier this month in Paris to brand gay activists as "terrorists."
Routine Facebook monitoring by the New York City Police Department led to a teenager's arrest this past weekend after cops allegedly found threats against police in photos, messages, and emojis. Police obtained a warrant for the arrest of Osiris Aristy, 17, after seeing several Facebook posts that included photos of the teen sporting a firearm, writing aggressive message about cops, and posting police emojis next to gun emojis, the department told the DNAinfo. "As a result of this conduct, the defendant has caused the informant and other New York City police officers to fear for their safety, for public safety, and to suffer alarm and annoyance," the criminal complaint said, according to the news site.Aristy was arrested on Sunday. Officers searched the teen's residence and reportedly found a .38 Smith and Wesson firearm and 25 grams of pot.Aristy's attorney Fred Pratt told DNAinfo that the Facebook posts did not constitute "an actual threat" against any police officers, adding that the the gun-cop emoji combo can be found all over the Internet.Here's a screengrab of one of the Facebook posts, which was flagged by Animal New York and still live as of Friday morning. Aristy had 12 prior arrests, including for robbery, assault, possession of marijuana, and criminal possession of a weapon, according to DNAinfo.
Most discourse about rape prevention is stale at best and counterproductive at worst, so it was downright exciting to see a genuinely intriguing idea on how to prevent rape, coming not from a women’s studies department or a feminist blogger retreat, but from the sorority system. The New York Times reported earlier this week that many in the sorority sisterhood are starting to agitate to break the long-standing tradition of alcohol-free sorority houses, not because they are sick of having to wear shoes to parties but as a form of rape prevention. Right now, most fraternities allow parties that serve alcohol and almost no sororities do, but sisters are arguing, according to the Times, that sorority parties would allow students “the option to attend Greek house parties that women control, from setting off-limits areas to deciding the content of the punch.” It’s an idea that is startling in both its simplicity and its brilliance. Of course it’s going to be harder for rapists to rape in female-controlled environments. It’s no cure-all and there are some implementation issues, but having more parties where women are controlling the alcohol and the space would be a really great step towards reducing the opportunities for would-be rapists to get access to potential victims. What really jumped out at me is how different it is from the usual “rape prevention” advice that is out there. Traditional rape prevention advice is usually focused on telling women to give up freedom and control over their own lives: Don’t go out at night, don’t be alone with men, don’t drink alcohol, don’t wear sexy clothes, don’t don’t don’t’. Feminists object to this advice because it’s condescending and ineffective, but also because putting the onus on women to prevent rape often provides a get-out-of-jail-free card for rapists. After all, if you got raped, many people reason, it’s because you failed in your duty to follow that extensive list of “don’ts”. In the eyes of police and juries, that often makes it the victim’s fault and not the rapists. Traditional rape prevention advice also has a deeper, more philosophical problem, in that it basically concedes to rapists’s power. After all, rape is a crime of dominance, usually of men asserting dominance over women. By telling women to give up freedom that men get to have, rapists win. Even if they aren’t dominating a woman directly by raping her, they are dominating women generally by taking away control over our own lives.But this idea proposed by sorority sisters subverts that by suggesting that what women need is not less control over their lives, but more. Instead of telling women to give up freedom by going to fewer parties, they are telling women to seize power and not only party if they want, but to be in charge of the parties themselves. Instead of trying to fight rape by giving into male dominance, they are undermining male dominance. All of which suggests that this can be more than just a small fix to reduce rapes that happen within the Greek system, but the beginning of a real paradigm shift. Instead of narrowly focusing on a bunch of individual choices women can make that will supposedly stop rape, perhaps the real key is to confront male dominance over the social sphere and find ways to give women more power and more control over partying, dating, and other social occasions that are all too frequently treated as opportunities by rapists. It’s a much better bet than telling women to give up enjoying their lives and live in fear of rapists.Lead photo: Huw Williams (Huwmanbeing), via Wikimedia CommonsAmanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist who writes frequently about liberal politics, the religious right and reproductive health care. She's a prolific Twitter villian who can be followed @amandamarcotte.
A new study finds that fast food restaurants wouldn't have to resort to layoffs, even with a $15 minimum wage. The post Here’s How Fast Food Could Handle A $15 Minimum Wage Without Cutting Jobs appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The 42,000-person strong lawsuit against TGI Friday's accusing it of underpaying them can move forward. The post TGI Friday’s Accused Of Denying Workers Minimum Wage And Overtime Pay appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The sharing economy isn't always the unadulterated positive force that it is often portrayed as being, and San Francisco housing market activists think they've found a good way to illustrate the downside of Airbnb's ascendance. The post Map: How Airbnb Is Fueling San Francisco’s Sky-High Rents appeared first on ThinkProgress.
While state officials portray their decision as an act of compliance with federal law, the feds have invited Maine to waive work requirements for another year because the economy is still too weak for the policy to be effective. The post Maine Has Kicked 6,500 People Off Of Food Stamps So Far This Winter appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama proposed a new $3,000 childcare tax credit, but it's dwarfed by the cost of care. The post The Affordable Childcare System That Used To Exist In The U.S. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Violence against the homeless without provocation is very common. The post Three Men Poured Lighter Fluid On Homeless Man And Lit Him And His Belongings On Fire appeared first on ThinkProgress.
President Obama's State of the Union speech will include some measures intended to address poverty and inequality. How effective would they be if they became law, and what problems are they designed to tackle? The post 5 Numbers To Keep In Mind As You Watch Obama’s State Of The Union appeared first on ThinkProgress.
If the proposal makes it through the state legislature, it would raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour in the city and $10.50 an hour for workers in the rest of the state. The post New York Governor Calls For Major Minimum Wage Hike appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Senator Alexander, the Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, wants to destroy the federal government’s ability to protect students’ right to a high-quality education. The post Senators Just Introduced An Education Bill To Upend 1965 Civil Rights Legislation appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama will unveil the plan at this week's State of the Union. The post What You Need To Know About Obama’s Proposal To Tax The Rich appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Intel will add an additional eight weeks of paid "bonding" leave for new parents of both genders. The post How This Major Tech Company Plans To Attract More Female Workers appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Seattle's shelters system leaves hundreds of homeless people on the streets every night, and the mayor's new proposal for organizing those people is at best a stop-gap measure towards lasting solutions. The post Seattle Mayor Proposes Trio Of Tent Cities In Response To Surging Homelessness appeared first on ThinkProgress.
President Obama will propose measures to encourage the flow of private investment in the face of Congressional inaction. The post With Republican Obstruction, A Last Resort For Fixing Our Roads And Bridges appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A look at the new recommendations for combating "a toxic combination of too little growth and rising inequality" in industrialized democracies that could help define the 2016 presidential race. The post The Key To Closing The Income Gap Is An Idea Almost Nobody Is Talking About appeared first on ThinkProgress.
A $25 million grant so historically black colleges can expand their cybersecurity programs could be the move needed to bridge the tech industry's diversity problem -- and make our data safer. The post The White House’s Plan To Fix Tech’s Diversity Problem And Cybersecurity At The Same Time appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Home care workers were on the verge of getting the same basic labor rights as everyone else until a judge struck them down. The post Home Care Workers Denied The Right To Make Minimum Wage And Overtime appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Despite leading JP Morgan Chase through numerous scandals that exemplify the need for tighter banking regulation, Jamie Dimon wants financial regulators to get off his back. The post JP Morgan ‘Under Assault’ By Unpatriotic Regulators, CEO Says appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Obama will call for the passage of a national paid sick days law. The post The U.S. Is The Only Developed Country Without Paid Sick Days. Obama Is Calling For That To Change. appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"Over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said. The post Senator Says Most People On Disability Don’t Deserve It appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Applicants will have to disclose prior felonies and take a drug test or risk losing benefits. The post Maine Will Drug Test Welfare Applicants appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“They’re basically Maytag repairmen,” he said. “Nothing gets done.” The post Jeb Bush Blasts Congress: ‘Nothing Gets Done’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The guards told her it was standard practice for visitors on their periods. The post Prison Visitor Says Guards Made Her Prove She Was Menstruating By Letting Them Inspect Her Vagina appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Homicides don't often occur for want of a good guy with a gun. They occur much more often because two guys are arguing at a bar, and one of them happens to be armed. The post Kansas Senate Doesn’t Want People With Concealed Firearms To Have To Get Safety Training appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Sessions released a 25-page memo calling for GOP lawmakers to fast-track the deportation of unaccompanied Central American kids and to end asylum "loopholes." The post Senator With Anti-Immigrant Record Appointed To Key Immigration Post appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"If you have a situation like we had in Paris, you don’t want a cop to show up with a flashlight and a baton," he said. The post Police Commissioner Defends Giving Tanks And Automatic Weapons To Cops appeared first on ThinkProgress.
D.C. has one of the highest arrest rates for marijuana possession in the country. The post D.C. Police Chief: Arresting People For Marijuana Possession ‘Never Was Productive To Begin With’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The problem with Loretta Lynch is that she's never held a rifle over her head and yelled out "from my cold dead hands." The post Gun Lobbyists Seek Extraordinary Veto Power Over Attorney General Nominee appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The "more guns, less crime" debate continues. The post Florida Could Say Goodbye To Gun-Free College Campuses appeared first on ThinkProgress.
“To enter the United States from the border with Mexico would be a beautiful gesture of brotherhood and support for immigrants,” Pope Francis said. The post Pope Francis Wants To Cross The U.S.-Mexico Border As A ‘Beautiful Gesture Of Brotherhood’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Given the Roberts Court’s general skepticism towards civil rights claims, the future of federal fair housing law is probably going to look very bleak for victims of discrimination. The post The Supreme Court’s Poised To Make It Much Easier To Deny Someone A Home Because They Are Black appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The official Republican Party and Tea Party responses alternatively ignored and attacked the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US. The post Tea Party Republicans Attack Immigrants In State Of The Union Response appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Since criminal justice reform eliminated New York City's mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws in 2009, there has been a significant drop in racial disparities in drug sentencing, in addition to a lower rate of recidivism across the five boroughs. The post How New York City Slashed Racial Disparities In Drug Sentencing appeared first on ThinkProgress.
"“At a policy level, commitment means every one of your liberties is taken away." The post State Bill Could Make It Easier For People With Mental Illnesses To Be Committed Against Their Will appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Notorious. The post Justice Ginsburg Explains Everything You Need To Know About Religious Liberty In Two Sentences appeared first on ThinkProgress.
America's five leading proponents of more money in politics take up another campaign finance case. The post Citizens United’s Legacy: Supreme Court Poised To Strike Down Another Key Campaign Finance Law appeared first on ThinkProgress.
They were sent back to jail for years without having committed a new crime. The post Half Of Wisconsin Inmates Are In Prison Because They Violated Parole appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Rep. Steve Scalise is not the only current lawmaker to have opposed the national holiday. The post The Ferocious Fight Against The MLK National Holiday appeared first on ThinkProgress.
The police were responding to a bomb threat on a preschool. The post White ‘Survivalist’ Shoots Police Chief Four Times, Is Released Without Being Arrested Or Charged appeared first on ThinkProgress.
Police say the mistaken identity has "zero to do about race." The post Police In St. Louis County Admit They Beat Up The Wrong Young Black Man appeared first on ThinkProgress.
This anti-immigrant group is once again manufacturing tension between two minority groups that have high rates of unemployment. The post Group Invokes Martin Luther King Jr. To Push Anti-Immigrant Message appeared first on ThinkProgress.
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