Identical twin astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly will be the subjects of the first-ever NASA twin study which will monitor both brothers for a year while one is in space and the other on Earth. Mark Kelly, who will remain Earthbound, joins Lawrence O...
A new report released by the Justice Department's Inspector General details allegations about the solicitation of prostitutes by DEA agents. Susan Crabtree joins The Last Word to discuss the cartel-funded parties with prostitutes.
Floyd Dent says he saw an Inkster, MI police officer plant drug evidence after his arrest. Dent says dash cam video will prove that the officer who punched him 16 times in the head planted evidence after his arrest. Lawrence talks to WDIV reporter Kevin D
"You're an a--hole @govpenceIN," begins pop star Miley Cyrus's strongly-worded post slamming the Indiana Governor for signing a religious freedom bill into law.
An All In investigation into the booming industry of personal care wipes and what all those wipes are doing to America's sewage system.
Chris Hayes goes to the biggest wastewater treatment plant in New York city to see what effect the boom in consumer wipes is having on the country’s sewage systems.
Feedback loop edition
The FBI arrested a self-described 'patriot' after they say he confessed to leaving a backpack packed with homemade bombs and a Quran in a Georgia park to help people understand that "this type of activity could happen anywhere."
Floyd Dent talks to Chris about being pulled from his car and beaten by police in Inkster, Michigan, as seen in dashcam video.
According to a Justice Department report released today, several agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had "sex parties" with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia. Joan Walsh, Michael Duffy, and Harold Ford, Jr. discuss.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) political organization pushed back Thursday afternoon at a Wall Street Journal report that at a private dinner in New Hampshire earlier this month he said he supported a pathway to citizenship despite publicly saying that he opposes one. "We strongly dispute this account," Kirsten Kukowski, the communications director for Walker's Our American Revival political organization said in a statement Thursday afternoon. "Governor Walker has been very clear that he does not support amnesty and believes that border security must be established and the rule of law must be followed. His position has not changed, he does not support citizenship for illegal immigrants, and this story line is false."The Journal report published just before Kukowski sent the statement said that Walker, at a private dinner in New Hampshire, that he supported the idea of a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the country illegally. Those comments, which the Journal said "confirmed by three people present" contradict Walker recently saying he strongly opposes "amnesty." At the Republican dinner, according to the Journal, Walker said undocumented immigrants should "eventually get their citizenship without being given preferential treatment." "He said no to citizenship now, but later they could get it," Franklin, New Hampshire Mayor Ken Merrifield, who attended the dinner, told the Journal. Walker, according to Griner, argued undocumented immigrants should "get to the back of the line for citizenship" but shouldn't be deported. Critics have accused Walker of repeatedly changing his position on immigration reform. In 2006 Walker signed a Milwaukee County resolution in support of the immigration reform proposal by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and the late Ted Kennedy (D-MA) that provided legal status to undocumented immigrants. In 2013 Walker told The Wausau Daily Herald editorial board that he backed a pathway to citizenship. In February 2015 he went on to Fox News to say that he was misquoted (which the editorial board quibbled with) and that he said "repeatedly I oppose amnesty." Walker received praise for the outspoken anti-immigration hardliner Rep. Steve King (R-IA) for delivering a fiery speech at King's Iowa Freedom Summit earlier in the year as well.
Corporate America slowly waking up to the Indiana anti-gay religious freedom bill that Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed into law today.
Rand Paul does a big U-turn and proposes an increase in Pentagon spending.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) was pressed by conservative radio host if something happened in Indiana to justify signing an anti-gay religious freedom bill into law. Pence said he wasn't aware of any recent examples. "I'm not aware of cases and controversies. I mean as I travel around the state one thing I know for sure —Hoosier hospitality is the greatest in the nation. Hoosiers are loving, caring, generous to a fault," Pence said in an interview with conservative radio host Greg Garrison on Thursday. "People that have strong hearts, strong values. But this isn't about any present controversy as much as some in the media want to make it about. It's about making sure that Hoosiers have the same protections in our state courts as they have in federal courts and as 30 other states have."Pence, in that same interview, said the law was modeled after legislation passed by Congress in 1993 and that the idea was simply to make sure Indianans had the same protections as elsewhere in the country. Earlier in the day Pence signed into law legislation barring the state from requiring businesses to serve gay and lesbian people if those businesses had religious objections. "This is about restraining government action, Greg," Pence said. A number of companies warned Pence that if he signed the law there could be blowback through businesses going elsewhere. Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, said his company would cancel all its programs in Indiana in response to Pence. NBA star Jason Collins, Star Trek Actor George Takei, and the Eli Lilly Company, have all criticized the law.Listen to the audio below, via opposition research group American Bridge below:
The controversy over Indiana's new anti-gay law continues to grow. Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce, said that his company was canceling all its programs in Indiana in response to Gov. Mike Pence (R) signing a new law that could allow businesses to discriminate against same-sex customers based on religious objections. Today we are canceling all programs that require our customers/employees to travel to Indiana to face discrimination. http://t.co/SvTwyCHxvE— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015Attention Tech CEOs/Industry: pay attn to what is happening in IN & how it will impact your employees & customers. http://t.co/SvTwyCZ8nc— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015Calling other tech CEOs and tech industry leaders to please take a stand. http://t.co/Ghd7TcxfZf— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) March 26, 2015Pence signed the legislation on Thursday. A number of businesses warned that there could be blowback to the governor signing the legislation. Gen Con, a major table top gaming convention, threatened to pull its convention out but its contract isn't up until 2020. Actor/activist George Takei, NBA star Jason Collins, and the Eli Lilly company, one of the state's largest employers, have all spoken out against the law.Salesforce is a cloud computing company which has headquarters in San Francisco. It acquired ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based software company for $2.5 billion last year.Salesforce Senior Director for Corporate Communications Gina Sheilbley told TPM it had no additional comments beyond what Benioff's tweets.This post was updated.
Disgraced Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) drew a parallel between the ethics inquiries that led to his resignation and former President Abraham Lincoln's career Thursday in a farewell speech. Schock, a fourth-term congressman and a rising star in the Republican Party, announced last week that he would resign effective March 31. News outlets had raised questions about Schock's potential misuse of taxpayer and campaign funds, leading the FBI and a grand jury to investigate whether he broke any laws.While he didn't bring up those pitfalls in his speech on the House floor, he did invoke Lincoln's "defeats.""Abraham Lincoln held this seat in Congress for one term. But few faced as many defeats in his personal business and public life as he did," Schock said, according to a transcript of his remarks. "His continual perseverance in the face of these trials, never giving up, is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life.""I believe that through life’s struggles, we learn from our mistakes and we learn more about ourselves," he added. "And I know that this is not the end of a story, but rather the beginning of a new chapter."It's unclear exactly what "defeats" of Lincoln's Schock was referring to, but Slate pointed out last week that both were accused of the same transgression: billing taxpayers for excess mileage.Schock announced his resignation hours after Politico inquired about the congressman being reimbursed by the federal government and his own campaign for 90,000 miles more than he actually drove on his personal car. A ProPublica story earlier that same day explained how a journalist once accused Lincoln of receiving $677, or $18,700 in today's dollars, in excess mileage when he served in Congress.
A Kennesaw State University lecturer allegedly assaulted and shouted racial epithets at an Uber driver in Dunwoody, Ga., television station WSB reported on Wednesday.The passenger's attorney said her client "was mortified" and "deeply ashamed and sorry for the derogatory language he used towards Mr. Stober during the episode." The attorney also said her client suffered from alcoholism, WSB reported. The part-time driver, Chiddi Stober, who is also a history teacher in Rockdale County (Ga.), told WSB he'd picked up a customer from a restaurant who allegedly became abusive and refused to get out of the car. Stober told the station that when he realized "it was just getting from bad to worse," he decided to call 911.In the background of the emergency call, which WSB obtained audio of, the customer can be heard telling the driver "f*ck you," using the n-word and saying "go back to slavery, man."Stober can be heard calmly telling the dispatcher that the customer "just assaulted me, just punched me in the face." Stober provided a more detailed account of the assault during an interview with WSB.“That’s the point where he hit me, he reached forward, he was sitting right behind me, that’s the point where he hit me right then,” Stober said. Dunwoody police are conducting an investigation into the alleged assault, according to WSB. Because charges had not been filed, the television station did not release the lecturer's name.Kennesaw State University told WSB, via a spokesperson, that it was waiting for the results of the police investigation.Uber banned the customer from using the site, the station reported."This rider’s behavior was absolutely despicable and we apologize to our valued partner for having to endure such unacceptable treatment," an Uber spokesperson told the station in a statement. "Immediately upon learning of the incident, we permanently banned the rider’s access to the Uber platform and we stand ready to assist the authorities."Listen the audio of the 911 call below, courtesy of WSB:
We're looking for an office manager in our Washington, DC bureau. Please pass the word! Listing below: TPM's Washington bureau is seeking an Office Manager with human resources responsibilities to assist with hiring and various administrative duties. The ideal candidate will be energized by a fast-paced environment and have a positive, team-oriented attitude. Strong organizational skills, impeccable time management, and consummate professionalism are a must. Three or more years of demonstrated human resource and administrative experience is required. Primary human resources duties include: handle new hire process; maintain necessary personnel records; assist with employee performance review process. Primary office management duties include: support senior management with managing calendars, scheduling meetings, and coordinating travel arrangements; handle day-to-day facility operations; assist with special projects; manage ordering of supplies, general deliveries, etc; and perform such other administrative duties as may be assigned. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.Email your resume, cover letter, and salary expectations to jobs at talkingpointsmemo.com. Please include "Office Manager" in the subject line.
Amid reports that Florida state officials have been banned from using the term "climate change," one South Florida official is continuing to push for the southern part of the state to secede over the state government's failure to recognize and address global warming."North Florida is completely indifferent, if not completely oblivious to it," South Miami Vice Mayor Walter Harris told TPM about rising sea levels impacting southern Florida.The South Miami City Commission last week passed a resolution proposed by Harris pushing officials to look into secession. The resolution asks that the "Miami-Dade County League of Cities form a committee to investigate the possibility of the creation of South Florida as the 51st state." The city commission passed a resolution in October proposing that South Florida secede, and Harris said that he thinks the secession movement will have a greater chance of success if the League of Cities looks into the issue.Harris has received positive feedback and has been pushing the League of Cities to take up the matter. He told TPM that reports that Florida state officials being banned from using terms like "climate change" inspired him to propose the latest resolution at last week's city commission meeting."You’ve got a governor who refuses to even use the term ‘global warming’ and ‘climate change,’ much less rising sea levels," Harris said. "Everybody down here is stunned to hear such stuff."Harris said that while many citizens of southern Florida have pushed for secession before for political or financial reasons, the rising levels makes the situation urgent."We’re talking about survival. We’re talking about physical reality. We’re talking about a situation that is totally real," Harris told TPM.
Frustrated that no sexual assault survivors spoke during a debate over an Ohio bill that would ban abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detectable, a representative revealed on the statehouse floor Wednesday that she had an abortion after being raped, the Toledo Blade newspaper reported. “You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion," State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D) said during the debate over Ohio House Bill 69, which would ban abortion at as early as six weeks. "I guarantee you there are other women who should stand up with me and be courageous enough to speak."She went on to describe the bill as “fundamentally inhuman" and "unconstitutional." “I dare every one of you to judge me, because there’s only one judge I’m going to face,” she said. "I understand your story, but you don’t understand mine."Fedor had never publicly discussed the incidents — which occurred years ago while she served in the military — and kept them secret even from family members, the newspaper reported.The Ohio House passed the bill 55-40, but the state Senate does not seem likely to take up the bill, according to the newspaper.Watch below via the Toledo Blade:
You could be excused for not noticing that the International Criminal Court just elected an all-female presidency—the news, after all, did not garner many headlines. Given the continuing under-representation of women in positions of leadership and power throughout the world, however, we might do well to pay more attention. As of March 11, the ICC’s new president is Judge Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi of Argentina. Kenyan Judge Joyce Aluoch has been elected first vice-president, and Japanese Judge Kuniko Ozaki, who was born in Hiroshima in the aftermath of World War II, will serve as second vice-president. These three women have been elected to helm a genuinely global institution comprised of 123 member countries, many of which face significant and deep-rooted hurdles to women’s equality.What is perhaps most extraordinary about the fact that all three members of the presidency are women is that, to many in the profession, their election hardly seemed extraordinary at all. It was, in fact, entirely in keeping with an exemplary tradition of women in international criminal law.If the International Criminal Court is still an awkward adolescent—set to celebrate its 13th birthday this summer—the broader field of international criminal law is a post-war baby boomer, surprised to find itself in its seventies. As it has fought its way along a difficult and never quite linear path, many of its most dogged advocates and successful leaders have been women.Their contributions began early. The United Nations War Crimes Commission of 1943-1948, one of the first multilateral international initiatives to undertake widespread investigations into war crimes and prepare prosecutions, counted several female representatives amongst its leaders. Women represented their nations both at the Commission headquarters in London as well at their respective national offices.Legal professional Elizabeth M. Goold-Adams, represented the government of Belgium from 1947-1948 in London. She also played a leading role in documenting the work and structure of the UNWCC upon its closure and served as the editor of the Commission’s official history. Mademoiselle Claude Capiomont, who served with the French Red Cross during the war, represented the French government on the Commission’s Committee on Facts and Evidence from 1946-1948. Women also represented the governments of Norway and the Netherlands at official committee meetings.Katherine Fite, a Yale graduate and lawyer with the U.S. Department of State, helped to draft the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg and was a leading lawyer in the Office of U.S. Chief of Counsel Robert H. Jackson. Fite was instrumental in analyzing and assembling evidence to build the U.S. case against senior leaders of Nazi Germany. International criminal law was largely quiet in the years following the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals, but was reborn 50 years later with the response to conflicts in Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Louise Arbour was appointed Chief Prosecutor of both the Yugoslavia Tribunal and the Rwanda Tribunal in 1996. Her bold, sure-handed leadership oversaw the indictment of Slobodan Milošević, then an acting Head of State, and charted a new course for the tribunals and the entire field of international criminal law. When Ms. Arbour left to take up a seat on the Supreme Court of Canada—later to become the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and then President of the International Crisis Group—she was replaced by the determined Swiss prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, who oversaw the prosecution of Mr. Milošević and a series of other landmark trials. It was the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals that blazed the trail for the ICC.The election of an all-female presidency for the International Criminal Court follows the 2011 election of accomplished Gambian lawyer Fatou Bensouda to the position of ICC Chief Prosecutor. Ms. Bensouda had previously served as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in The Gambia before joining the Rwanda Tribunal and then the ICC. As the head of the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor, she is responsible for deciding whether and when to open new investigations and for overseeing the investigation and subsequent prosecution of all accused offenders at the court.The ascendancy of Judge Fernández de Gurmendi, Judge Aluoch, and Judge Ozaki to the ICC’s Presidency can and should serve as another bellwether along the road to gender equality in workplaces around the world – not to mention a source of pride. The contributions of these women should not go unnoticed by the international community.Despite these notable strides on the international stage, however, the national legal systems of many of the ICC member states continue to lag badly behind. Populations around the world still fail to recognize the equal status of women in the workplace and in society at large, and women everywhere still experience disturbing levels of gender-based violence. For women to occupy these senior leadership positions at the ICC, a powerful institution to which the governments of these states are beholden, is an important step. This achievement is more than merely symbolic; the responsibility inherent in the ICC’s Presidency is very real. As they carry out their duties as elected leaders of the Court, we hope that President Fernández de Gurmendi and Vice-Presidents Aluoch and Ozaki will seize the opportunity to continue to uphold the rights of women around the world. Shanti Sattler is the Assistant Director of the War Crimes Project at SOAS, University of London, and a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. Eliott Behar was a war crimes prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and is the author of the new book Tell It To The World: International Justice and the Secret Campaign to Hide Mass Murder in Kosovo.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) plans to still hold its Final Four March Madness games in Indianapolis, Indiana despite Gov. Mike Pence's (R) decision Thursday to pass a "religious freedom" bill that could allow businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples because of religious objections. "The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events," NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement on Thursday, which echoed a previous statement issued before Pence signed the bill. "We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce."Emmert's statement came a few hours after Pence signed the bill into law. A number of businesses based in Indiana warned that there could be an exodus or other repercussions if Pence signed the law.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) would like to prevent Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) from sending any more letters to Iranian leaders about the nuclear deal, prompting her to file an amendment to block just that.She introduced an amendment on Wednesday that would defund "the purchase of stationary or electronic devices for the purpose of members of Congress or congressional staff communicating with foreign governments and undermining the role of the President as Head of State in international nuclear negotiations on behalf of the United States," according to the Huffington Post. Cotton sent a letter to Iranian leaders earlier in March warning them against a nuclear deal with the U.S. and its allies. The letter signed by 47 Republican senators may have backfired, however, as it could keep Congress from passing a bill to require that Congress review any nuclear deal made by the Obama administration.Members of the administration, as well as some Republicans, criticized the letter. Secretary of State John Kerry called the letter "unconstitutional" and inappropriate. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Corker (R-TN), who did not sign the letter, said it was not "constructive."
WASHINGTON — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that President Barack Obama was an "anti-war president.""The world is starving for American leadership. But America has an anti-war president," the Ohio Republican told reporters. "We have no strategy, overarching strategy, to deal with the growing terrorist threat. And it's not just ISIS or Al-Qaeda or all of their affiliates. We've got a serious problem facing the world and America, by and large, is sitting on the sidelines." During his presidency Obama has overseen ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched an unprecedented drone war in Pakistan, and authorized military actions against Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia.
WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul filed an amendment to the Senate budget on Wednesday calling for a significant boost to defense spending, a reversal for the libertarian senator who has previously called for across-the-board cuts to domestic and military spending. The amendment, filed without public notice and first reported by Time, is the latest of several moves by the Kentucky senator seemingly aimed at placating the GOP's ascendant hawkish wing ahead of a reported campaign announcement next month.Paul's amendment would boost military spending by about $190 billion in fiscal 2016 and 2017 above levels proposed in the Senate Republican budget, offset with steep cuts to domestic federal programs.Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), one of Paul's potential 2016 rivals, introduced an amendment calling for a similar hike in defense spending that wasn't offset.Doug Stafford, a senior adviser to Paul, said in an email that his amendment was about making sure defense spending increases don't add to the deficit."It is done in response to others in both chambers who are attempting to add to defense spending — some way more than Senator Paul's amendment — without paying for it," Stafford said. "Senator Paul believes national defense should be our priority. He also believes our debt is out of control. This amendment is to lay down a marker that if you believe we need more funding for national defense, you should show how you would pay for it. No one should be seeking increased funding for anything by increasing our debt."One of Paul's signature issues has been a non-interventionist foreign policy and less U.S. military involvement around the world, a philosophy that was gaining traction among some Republicans before the emergence of the Islamic State threat. His budgets in prior years have called for reducing spending on defense.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) said it was a mistake for one of his foreign policy advisers to go speak at the left-leaning Israel policy group J Street. The adviser, James Baker, criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on seeming to change his position on a two-state solution. Bush called Baker a "a sage, smart man with a vast amount of experience." But Bush said he didn't agree with Baker's decision to speak at J Street, which advocates for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "I did not believe that it was appropriate to go speak to J Street, a group that basically has anti-Israeli sentiments," Bush said Thursday during a radio interview with Brian Kilmeade. "But I have a vast array of people advising me and I'm honored that Jim Baker was doing so. The fact that I have people that I might not agree with me on every subject advising me shows leadership, frankly."Baker, according to The Washington Post on Monday, said in the speech that he had "been disappointed with the lack of progress regarding lasting peace —and I have been for some time." He continued that "in the aftermath of Netanyahu's recent election victory, the chance of a two-state solution seems even slimmer, given his reversal on the issue." In response, Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell said Bush "opposes J Street's advocacy" according to the Post. That sparked the ire of neoconservatives. Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said the comments didn't reflect the entire Republican Party. Thankfully, James Baker doesn't speak for today's Republican Party. Wish the same could be said for Denis McDonough and the Democrats.— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) March 24, 2015
WASHINGTON — It was the rarest of Kumbaya moments in the normally rancorous and dysfunctional House of Representatives.Everyone from Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to their deputies and committee leaders and underlings sang the praises of a massive Medicare overhaul bill, giving the equivalent of Oscar acceptance speeches by effusively thanking their staff and colleagues for making it happen.Then they passed it by an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 392-37, to a smattering of applause in the chamber. "Don't look now," said Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), "but we are actually governing."She was right. The bill on its way to the Senate represents the most sweeping health care reform in the five years since Obamacare became law.It ends the "doc fix" dilemma that has haunted Congress for more than a decade, by replacing the Medicare "sustainable growth rate" formula for paying physicians — which currently imposes deep cuts of as much as 20 percent annually — with incremental 0.5 percent pay raises for doctors in the coming years before transitioning to a new system."If someone came down to this chamber from Mars today, they'd be shocked at the camaraderie," said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)."It represents bold, necessary progress for our country," said Pelosi.The "doc fix" has become one of Congress's most despised rituals, featuring 17 short-term patches since 2003 to stave off the cuts. Virtually every lawmaker wants to end the problem, which is one reason the bill gained broad support even though it's set to add $141 billion to the deficit in the coming decade.Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), the sponsor and floor manager of the bill called the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, hailed the "thunderous approval that has come from the peoples' House. It is time to end the SGR. Let us never speak of this issue again.""This is indeed a rare event," said Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), the ranking member of the Ways & Means Committee.Now the tough part: significant long-term cuts to Medicare spending.The legislation requires seniors who make more than $133,500 to pay more for Medicare coverage starting in 2018, and reduces spending on "first dollar" coverage of supplemental Medigap plans enjoyed by some from 2020 onward.It also extends the Children's Health Care Program for two years.Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), a Republican leader, said Wednesday he hopes to pass the bill through the Senate before adjourning for a two-week recess. But the timeline is unclear, as the Senate may not complete the budget "vote-a rama" until late Friday night, and would need unanimous consent to skip the usual hurdles and hold a quick vote. Senate Democratic leaders said they weren't sold on the bill, but several members including Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said they were inclined to support it.President Barack Obama has endorsed the bill."Today is a good day," said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). "But today should not be the last day."
Bill O'Reilly bemoaned the state of journalism on his show Tuesday night, telling his guest that when inaccurate reporting is left unchallenged, it "hurts the country." "If I made a mistake reporting at WCBS," the Fox host said, "these guys were on me! You had to do it right!"O'Reilly said that nowadays, journalists can throw any story out there and subsequently claim "well I didn't report it, [someone else] did!"The Fox host did not mention his own recent clarifications, saying that when he once claimed to have "seen" nuns shot dead in El Salvador and witnessed bombings in Northern Ireland, he simply meant that he had seen photos of them.Guest John Stossel pushed back against O'Reilly's argument that that liberal media gets a free pass, but affirmed his contempt for the New York Times. He then growled and grabbed a nearby copy, crumpling it up on-air."At least now the bloggers correct them," Stossel added."Some of them do," O'Reilly answered.Watch the clip:This post has been updated.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) did it. On Thursday, he signed a controversial religious freedom bill into law that protects business owners from being required to serve same-sex couples if they have religious objections. Pence said signing the bill into law makes sure that "religious liberty" is completely protected in the state. "The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action," Pence said in a statement. A number of businesses strongly voiced opposition to the law. The large tabletop gaming convention Gen Con threatened to leave the state if Pence the bill, but is locked into a contract until 2020. Star Trek actor George Takei also warned that the law could result in a damaging boycott of the state. On Wednesday, leaders from the Disciples of Christ church said that if the bill was signed into law the church could possibly move its planned 6,000 person General Assembly meeting in Indianapolis to another location. Just a week before the NCAA's March Madness Final Four games in downtown Indianapolis, the NCAA released a statement saying it was "examining the details" of the bill." The statement did not condemn the legislation but it did say that it was for "an inclusive environment where all individuals enjoy equal access to events." Nineteen other states have similar laws to Indiana's new religious freedom bill.
One might think the house would look different from the others. It doesn’t, really—there are rows of peaked, double-wide Victorians just like it on this side street in West Philly. But once you step inside it’s a different story. The same way that minimalist furniture signals wealth or mustard-colored shag carpeting recalls the 1970s, the sheer density of stuff in this expansive foyer is unmistakably that of a collective home. Mainly, it’s the shoes. There are three pieces of furniture intended to contain all these shoes, and then there are bins holding the run-off—forty pairs is probably a conservative estimate. And at the center of this shoe-storing area, there is a repurposed vanity containing all the other “Honey, I’m Home” objects, a dense tangle of keys and sunglasses and pieces of mail, bike locks and a roll of electrical tape.I’m here, at the home of seven adults not related by blood and two children, to find out why one would choose to live somewhere that requires such an extreme shoe-storage situation. What does it look like, in an age of post-recession scarcity, for a group of people to successfully weather their late twenties and early thirties together, to embark on the great child-rearing mission in a shared home?It’s a task many consider utopic at best, delusional at worst; say “communal living” or “intentional community” to most Americans and you’ll conjure visions of dusty Northern California communes or fringe cults or punk houses with sticky floors and elaborate chore wheels. If you’re lucky, they’ll also know a little about the tech-incubator mansions in the Bay or, god forbid, the grotesque investor-backed Brooklyn communal clubhouse. And if you’re even luckier, you won’t have to explain that those last two are riffs on a longstanding tradition of collective property ownership, which includes, yes, income-sharing communes, but also non-profit housing cooperatives and their suburban-ish cousins, cohousing communities. The basic idea: to share the comforts and burdens of not only property ownership, but the political and economic realities of a household. Or, if you wanted to be cheeky about it: No gods, no masters; no bosses, no landlords.It’s an enticing idea: After all, we’ve rightfully lost faith in all of the above. We’re living through a massive fracturing of what was once considered the American Dream—along with the equation of successful adulthood with marriage, a few kids and a two-car garage tucked away in a leafy suburban idyll.No gods, no masters; no bosses, no landlords.My generation, people between the ages of 18 and 31, is the first to do worse financially than the two generations before it; crushing student debts and rampant unemployment during the recession conspired to make us, by and large, financially unstable enough that earning enough to rent a place—never mind start a mortgage—is often laughable. Five-year plans are inconceivable. We’re navigating piecemeal, contingent realities, and the traditional system of getting houses, credit cards and car loans hasn't quite caught up with the new economy. We aren’t owning cars or homes at the same rates as our parents; as of last year, only about a quarter of us were married. And for some of us, the choice to rear children has become something akin to a luxury good. In the last few years, the panic over whether women—or anyone, really—can afford to succeed while raising a family has reached a fever pitch. The question gnaws at people like Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaughter, for whom even extreme privilege is not enough to guarantee they “have it all.” In the absence of a national childcare system or longer parental leave, companies like Apple and Facebook pay for female employees to freeze their eggs. So given that the most affluent feel under the gun, how are the rest of us even supposed to consider raising children, given the financial and institutional barriers?Knowing all this doesn’t mean people my age have come up with solutions. Even if I were the type to want 2.5 kids and a white picket fence when I “grow up,” what are my options? Save up for a down payment I won’t be able to afford until I’m 40? Shell out thousands of freelancer dollars for childcare?If the tech industry and its boosters are to be believed, these tensions will be resolved when my smartphone-handling peers and I manifest a brave new economy wherein individual ownership is rendered obsolete. To be sure, the fact that the term “sharing economy” has been used to describe both the ruthless, market-devouring Uber and small food cooperatives popping up in Denver is a testament to the fallibility of buzzwords. Still, there’s no denying that “collaborative consumption” has come to frame a number of conversations about The Youth. Thanks to sophisticated algorithms and seamless UIs, we share rides and vacation homes, dinner and crash pads. Or, as one particularly euphoric story in Wired put it, by “entrusting complete strangers with our most valuable possessions, our personal experiences—and our very lives,” we’re “entering a new era of Internet-enabled intimacy.”Back to the shoes: I’m here in Philly to see if that intimacy could be translated into something more meaningful than a blanket trust in the swarm, how the sharing economy could operate not as a collection of disembodied apps but as a lived experience. And to tell the truth, I’m also here because I want to know how nine humans have fared after eschewing the middle-class dream for something far more ambitious—and far riskier.When I first started asking around about group houses with kids, I was referred to Esteban Kelly, who ends up being my host at this West Philly group house. Kelly is, at 34, one of the coolest grownups I’ve ever met. A tiny Jamaican-American originally from New York City, he has a maniacal laugh and a polished hipness, complete with vintage glasses, that make him appear about seven years younger. (By the end of my stay, Esteban will be going full Cool Dad on me, urging me to deal with my 1099 tax situation and recommending the accountant he himself uses, as a contract worker—“Oh my god,” he raves of said accountant, “he is a total freak!”)When I arrive at the house, which calls itself “InSoFar,” I’m met at the front door by Esteban’s partner, a lean, angular Spanish teacher named Stephen Holt, and their three-year-old daughter, Anaïs. The dutiful, clearly exhausted father gives me a tour of the house and we happen upon a game of cards on the expansive second floor. I sit down next to a half-finished glass of wine on a red shag rug and watch the game; it isn’t until the doorbell rings and Anaïs toddles upstairs to announce the arrival of our pizza that I’m asked, sort of languidly, who I am and who I’m with. When I tell them, there’s a murmur of recognition. Oh, right. They got that email. Jacques-Jean TiziouInSoFar is one of a handful of what I’ll hear referred to as “named houses” in West Philly—a neighborhood that’s dense enough to qualify as urban, spacious enough to provide breathing room. The organization from which the residents of InSoFar lease their home, the Life Center Association (LCA), like many longstanding cooperative institutions, has roots in the anti-Vietnam War movement.Over thirty years or so, there were “a few waves of people going and setting up collective houses” in this part of Philadelphia, says Andrew Cornell, a professor and author of Oppose and Propose, a history of the Movement for a New Society, the group out of which LCA was formed. The LCA itself purchased a number of houses in the 1970s, and by the end of the decade it was an umbrella organization under which a publishing collective and a food cooperative also operated. This existing culture was augmented during the 1980s, when squatters built communities in decaying or derelict houses, and again in the early 2000s when rents were cheap and a younger generation started buying and fixing up properties.It’s nearly impossible to come up with a concrete number of how many people are living collectively in the United States. In part, it’s an issue of record-keeping—but it’s also a testament to the sheer variety of collective living situations, even those centered around similar legal agreements. In New York City, co-op boards are common, but the level of communal involvement usually begins and ends with deciding who can buy a unit in the high-rise. The LCA network of houses are run as a land trust, renting out entire houses to groups who apply; many cooperatives function as nonprofit corporations, in which each “renter” buys into the institution at large.And then there are the most famous, if often-lampooned, examples of collective living—the rural communes my parent’s generation fled America’s cities to found. Some of them, like Twin Oaks in Virginia or Black Bear Ranch in California, are still kicking, though scholars of such things agree the vast majority of back-to-the-land projects failed within their first decade. The hippie commune looms largest in the pop cultural imagination, which perhaps explains why there are still all sorts of bizarre stigmas attached to collective housing. Recently, one of InSoFar’s residents was approached by a colleague who asked her if, um, she was “partnered” with everyone she lived with or just that one guy she brings around to work happy hours sometimes.“We didn’t think, oh, collective living is gonna be this amazing, perfect, post-capitalist beautiful community.”Over pizza that night, someone brings up the “Hartford Decision.” Recently, a family of eight adults and three children living in a crumbling mansion in the economically-depressed Connecticut city were issued a cease-and-desist order after it was determined their arrangement didn’t comply the neighborhood’s single-family regulations—or, really, with the neighbors themselves, who despite telling a local paper that the residents “are nice people” formed a coalition to get them out of the nine-bedroom home.“But if they were domestic servants, it would be legal,” yells Greg Holt, Stephen’s fraternal twin: same angular face but with a top knot. The twins spent part of their childhood in a combined two-family home in New Hampshire; they, like the other adults who live here, have significant experience living in collective homes. Some of the relationships here go back more than a decade.Theresa Giardini, 33, grew up in Philadelphia and used to go to house shows in LCA homes when she was a teenager. In a knit cap and denim jacket, Theresa has a sharp and brassy manner that reminds me of the less self-conscious punk girls I used to hang out with in high school. Her kid, Gus, a seven-year-old with long blonde hair, is going through a Harry Potter phase, and he absentmindedly bangs on wineglasses with a chopstick and mutters incantations during dinner.When the original group applied for and was selected to live in InSoFar, “We were all making, like, $12,000 a year,” says Theresa. “But we figured it out.”The group moved in in 2008, just as the worst financial recession in 75 years was beginning to settle across America. Originally, the group comprised of two couples—Stephen and Esteban, sans Anaïs; Jayson, Theresa and Gus, then an infant. They were joined by Greg and a college friend of Esteban and Stephen’s, Milena Velis. Though many in the household now have stable occupations, back then, in their twenties, they “weren’t grown-ups doing professional jobs,” says Theresa—she was a TA, Esteban a grad student working part-time at Mariposa, the LCA-affiliated food cooperative, Milena a courtroom interpreter.All of them had lived in collective houses before, and they figured their previous experiences and tightknit relationships would allow them to avoid the drama and frustration that can break other houses up. Greg ascribes part of InSoFar’s success to its pragmatism. “We didn’t think, oh, collective living is gonna be this amazing, perfect, post-capitalist beautiful community,” he says.InSoFar is one of eight houses currently operated under the LCA banner; each home sends a representative to sit on the organization’s governing board, which manages major institution-wide decisions: for example, the criteria for maintenance expenses, for which each house is given an annual budget. Board meeting notes reflect a granular understanding of what can and can not come out of this yearly sum: maintenance must provide a long-term improvement to the building, is more functional than aesthetic, and doesn’t fall under the purview of the responsibilities of a homeowner, like mowing the lawn. Decisions are reached using 1970s-style consensus, a famously time-intensive (if aggressively democratic) process.If that sounds a little trying, it’s because it can be. Living in an intentional community involves the kind of organizational fluency that’s difficult for anyone who hasn’t already been steeped in it. Jacques-Jean TiziouThe day-to-day realities of InSoFar, however, are more fluid. The pizza ordered that first night was paid for with a house food budget that’s folded in with monthly utilities, rent and a slush fund for other supplies such as tools and toiletries. There’s a shared house bank account into which each member pays what they owe. Unlike in many cooperative houses, there’s no set rotation for dinner duty or institutionalized house meetings here. Theresa cooks a lot, since she’s home earlier; the house gets together to discuss big issues as they encounter them—and they’re “not about, like, cleaning the bathroom,” says Esteban.“We just deal with it the way you would deal with it if you live with family,” adds Theresa. And while the parents are quick to note that they’ve leaned on each other in times of crisis, they’re careful not to burden their housemates too much. Now that the kids are a little older the parents may leave them at home while they run an errand or two, but they still hire babysitters when they’re out for an evening. Much of the benefit here, I imagine, comes from having other adults around who like socializing with your children when everyone’s home, a relief that’s more psychic than logistical.The effects of collective housing on childrearing are much more nuanced than free domestic labor. As Stephen tells me, “I learned a lot about parenting … because we lived with Gus for four years before Anaïs was born. It’s not like you know someone who has children. You’re really in the parenting.”As it turns out, old aspirations of "normal" adulthood die hard.In InSoFar’s bright, L-shaped kitchen on a Friday night, after the kids are put to bed and more glasses of wine have been poured, the board meetings and budgeting grinds all seem worth it—the house is warm and cavernous, and Theresa is telling me that for a long time, Gus thought the word “sibling” meant people you lived with who didn’t have the same parents. Surely, this model is more enticing than what I imagine to be its polar: a perpetually exhausted set of parents finally getting Junior to bed, having given her their exclusive focus all evening, and sitting slaw-jawed in front of another episode of How I Met Your Mother before they tuck in for the night.But of course, just as that white picket fence isn’t for everyone, neither is this. Living in a group house can require an incredible amount of tolerance for both personal and institutional conflicts; I heard whispers of LCA disasters past (using grant money to book international punk bands!) during my stay in InSoFar, and when organizational issues collide with the impassioned, deeply personal nature of domestic life, it can get messy. Theresa tells me she's seen close relationships destroyed after failed experiments in communal living. Later, she’ll compare the intensity of arrangements like these to a modern conception of marriage: They aren’t permanent, but they are serious, and they require work. And as it turns out, old aspirations die hard, and no matter how difficult the road to a more traditional nuclear lifestyle may be, there will always be those who, when they’re honest with themselves, still desire it. Never forget: Those dusty commune kids running around half-naked in Born to be Wild eventually turned into what we now refer to as boomers.I get a glimpse of the enduring pull of “normal” adulthood when invited to attend a Dim Sum Chinese New Year celebration with the members of InSoFar, plus three: two of the house’s former members, Bryan Mercer, 29; Milena Velis 31; and their infant, who spends most of the meal strapped to her father’s chest. Bryan and Milena now live in an apartment a few blocks away from their former home; they tell me about their desire to one day take out a mortgage on their own house. I get the sense that everyone is still close, but that InSoFar’s vision wasn’t one that Bryan shared. When he moved into the house it was “basically to be with this one,” gesturing to his wife. It was his first and only foray into collective living; the couple stuck around two years, but when Anaïs was old enough to need her own room, they started talking about finding their own place.“I think they wanted more privacy,” Esteban put it diplomatically, “to have a moment alone, have dinner parties.” Working long hours, the couple often wouldn’t come home until 8 pm or later; for all the social support one gets from communal living, it demands its members spend quality time at home. Which isn’t even to mention things like intimate dinners, just one of the thousands of trappings of the bourgeois good life that must be mutated or wholly abandoned to live in a collective house. “The United States has such an emphasis on the individual, and on the family,” says Theresa. “I talk to people and they’re like, oh I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t have other people in my space.”It’s hard to imagine Middle America freely politicizing their living spaces.The story of Bryan and Milena is far from the most painful collective-housing breakup I’ve born witness to. I’ve lived in houses with loads of other people since I was eighteen, in a nonprofit housing cooperative with two-dozen childless humans aged 17 to 30, and then later in a house in Greenpoint with anywhere from seven to 12 roommates. I’ve lived in the house that’s been razed by drugs and financial mismanagement; watched relationships fester and eventually combust over something as simple as furniture placement; sat through hours-long meetings about rent repayment and wrung my hands endlessly over the order of operations when it’s time to kick someone out.And still, I find myself arguing with skeptics, taking the side of group ownership and collective decision-making over more vanilla dreams. But for a lot of people, living with more than 3.5 people is still looked at as either a tragic financial necessity or an activity particular to one’s twenties. From your apartment to your beer, you’re supposed to acquire more expensive tastes when you grow up.It can be tempting to deride boosters of modern collective housing by wielding the same white, educated, middle-to-upper class clichés once applied to hippies. But having spent time at InSoFar, at least, it’s clear this isn’t that kind of project. The members of InSoFar are racially, and from what I can tell, socioeconomically diverse. The most common denominator seems to be that the people who live here are committed activists, a shared set of political plot points apparent even in the way they talk about the imperative of diversity. Collective housing may seem like a good answer to our disillusionment with a broken system, but for now, it’s also a political act, not just because it provides autonomy from The Man, but because it’s an alternate model of low-income, low-impact housing in an age of rampant gentrification. It’s hard to imagine Middle America freely politicizing their living spaces.And supposedly progressive urban Millennials probably won’t, either. If we’re really the sharing generation, it’s a particular kind of sharing we’ve been indoctrinated in, an anonymous trust that may be useful to crowdsource tasks and facilitate market relationships, but doesn’t do much to dismantle our deeply entrenched concept of ownership, or about what a family is supposed to look like. It’s far harder to develop the skills and relationships required to share a life than a room or a cab.In other words, there is no easy fix to our generational woes. Freezing eggs, deferring that move to the suburbs, fist-bumping a Lyft driver—they don’t fundamentally alter the way we think about ourselves or our responsibility to our communities.A few years ago, curious about the legacy of those fabled 1960s communes, I got in touch with Peter Coyote, an OG activist with ties to several rural communities and a former member of The San Francisco Mime Troupe. “We lost every political battle of the sixties,” he wrote. “We did not stop war, capitalism, racism. But on reflection, it occurred to me that we won every cultural battle.”Coyote listed those victories: organic food in grocery stores, yoga studios, alternative medicine—all the trappings of a subculture consumed. He seemed optimistic, but as far as I was concerned, the equation of victory with new experiences for sale was pretty dark.At the same time, our notions of the nuclear family stayed intact. The 1960s movements were born out of excess, a generation with too much time and certainty; our era, by contrast, is defined by scarcity, how unlikely it is that we’ll come close to achieving those handed-down dreams in the first place. Better, probably, to start reaching elsewhere—if we don’t, we too might win only similar cultural victories, and find instead of a more sustainable adult life only a shallow, push-button version of the sharing economy, a version dictated by some of the only people left in America who don’t even have these problems.Molly Osberg is a writer based in New York. She’s on Twitter @molly__o.
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