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Archive for June 24th, 2014

WND Founder Stopped at Airport With Loaded Gun

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

WND Founder Stopped at Airport With Loaded Gun
Joseph Farah, the co-founder of the conservative website now known as WND and one of the guiding lights of the birther movement, was caught by TSA agents at Dulles International Airport on Sunday with a loaded .38-caliber revolver in his carry-on bag.


Woman Banned From Memphis Zoo For Trying To Feed Cookies To Lions

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Woman Banned From Memphis Zoo For Trying To Feed Cookies To Lions
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis Zoo officials have banned a woman after saying she climbed over a barrier to the enclosure where lions…

West readies package of sector sanctions on Russia
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and its European allies are finalizing a package of sanctions on Russia’s key economic sectors that could be levied as early as this week, though the package might be delayed because of positive signals from Russian President Vladimir Putin, administration officials and others close to the decision-making said Tuesday.


Thad Cochran thanks supporters after hard-fought primary win

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Thad Cochran thanks supporters after hard-fought primary win
The veteran senator from Mississippi was forced into a primary runoff against state Sen. Chris McDaniel, but the six-term Republican narrowly defeated his tea party challenger.


Texas Values’ Jonathan Saenz: Gay Activists Are Trying To “Put People In Jail”

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Texas Values’ Jonathan Saenz: Gay Activists Are Trying To “Put People In Jail”

Texas Values president Jonathan Saenz agreed with a right-wing radio host that gay activists are trying to put Christians in concentration camps, asserting that the gay rights movement wants “to put people in jail” if they disagree with marriage equality and “the homosexual lifestyle.”

In a June 20 interview with Raging Elephants Radio, Saenz condemned a recent Colorado Civil Rights Commission ruling affirming that a Denver-area baker had violated the state’s non-discrimination law by refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex couple. Host Claver Kamau-Imani asked Saenz whether the ruling was tantamount to sending the baker to a “concentration camp.” Saenz agreed, asserting that there’s “no question” gay rights supporters ultimately aim to imprison opponents of LGBT equality:

KANAU-IMANI: Alright, let’s get back to Colorado. So you have a baker that does wedding cakes and they say they don’t want to do a two-man wedding cake or a two-woman wedding cake with the little figurines on top or whatever. And so the homosexual couple, whether it’s man and man, woman and woman, whatever, they go to this specially created commission to deal with this, file a complaint against the business, and so the commission says ‘No, you’re gonna make this cake, plus, you’re going to go to concentration camp,’ essentially. Is that what you’re telling us, Jonathan?

SAENZ: That’s right, that’s right. You know, they tried to do something like that here in Texas – I think it was a bill by Sen. Rodney Ellis that dealt with hate crime stuff, where they would’ve forced you to participate in an event of the quote-unquote community that you had offended. And so we testified against this legislation and it ended up dying on the Senate side. But I mean, this is what they want. I mean, there’s no question. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen them try to do it with legislation here in Texas at the state level. It is a goal of theirs to put people in jail that disagree with homosexual marriage, without question – or the homosexual lifestyle. [emphasis added]


An Arrogant and Lawless IRS

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

An Arrogant and Lawless IRS
Michael Gerson, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Noted management expert and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was apparently called out of retirement — like the Ted Williams of evasive, unapologetic bureaucrats — to destroy what is left of his agency’s credibility. At immediate issue is two years of subpoenaed emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner to outside agencies, lost in a convenient computer crash. The possible involvement of other agencies is one focus of a congressional investigation into the heightened IRS scrutiny of conservative nonprofit groups before the 2012 election. In recent congressional testimony,…


Fears hospital mistakes covered up

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Fears hospital mistakes covered up
An analysis of reporting incidents shows 29 out of 141 hospital trusts in England are not registering the expected number of safety incidents.

Royal couple visit Belfast film set
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh meet cast and production members from Game of Thrones during a tour of the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast on the second day of their Northern Ireland visit.


Democrat: IRS chief ‘arrogant’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Democrat: IRS chief ‘arrogant’
Sen. Claire McCaskill said the IRS commissioner is doing a terrible job of communicating.


What To Watch Out For In The Supreme Court’s Big Remaining Cases

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

What To Watch Out For In The Supreme Court’s Big Remaining Cases
The Supreme Court is in the home stretch. There are just three days left in this term — Wednesday, Thursday and next Monday — when the justices are scheduled to hand down opinions. Until these cases are decided, however, the fate of women seeking reproductive care, workers and their unions, criminal suspects with cell phones and a president thwarted by a recalcitrant Senate remain uncertain. Here’s a few things to watch out for in seven of the biggest cases that are still pending before the Court:


1 Killed and 20 Hurt in Overnight Bombing in Lebanon

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

1 Killed and 20 Hurt in Overnight Bombing in Lebanon
A suicide bombing in a southern Beirut neighborhood killed a security officer and wounded 20 people, officials said Tuesday, as an al-Qaida-linked group warned that such attacks will continue as long as the militant Hezbollah group is taking part in Syria’s civil war.

Uruguay’s Suárez, Known for Biting, Leaves Mark on World Cup
For the third time in the past four years, Uruguay’s star striker, Luis Suárez, appeared to bite a player on the other team when he clashed with Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the second half.



Putin Presses Extension of Cease-Fire in Ukraine
In another move seen as a step toward ending the conflict, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia also asked lawmakers to rescind a resolution authorizing the use of force in Ukraine.




Republican Senate Candidate Signs Koch Pledge, Abruptly Changes His Tune On Climate Change

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 24th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Republican Senate Candidate Signs Koch Pledge, Abruptly Changes His Tune On Climate Change

Jim Rubens is the only Republican running for Senate who mentions climate change on his website. He used to support a carbon tax.

The post Republican Senate Candidate Signs Koch Pledge, Abruptly Changes His Tune On Climate Change appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Jim Rubens

CREDIT: Associated Press

He’s the only Republican running for Senate who mentions climate change on his website. He used to support a carbon tax, and actually talks about conservative climate change solutions. Then, Jim Rubens signed the Koch brothers’ pledge not to do anything about it.

The pledge, from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity (AFP), requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” That rules out a carbon tax, a policy that would make huge carbon cuts, create jobs, raise incomes, and improve the health of Americans. It’s also one of the few policies Congress could use to seriously fight climate change.

An American University report, released in July, identified the Kochs’ influence and the AFP pledge as instrumental in stopping members of Congress from voting for climate action. That’s why the Obama administration has had to cut carbon using the EPA’s authority to regulate pollutants. And AFP is only one of at least “91 think tanks, advocacy groups, and industry associations, funded by 140 different foundations, that work to oppose action on climate change.”

It’s a major change for a candidate who not only believes in human-caused global warming, but who said voters use that belief “as a proxy for candidate credibility on other issues.” Deny climate change, he’s saying, and Republicans will lose elections.

In September, Rubens entered the race for the New Hampshire Republican Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate with a proposal for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, which would actually be acceptable under the pledge. He told the Concord Monitor in May that he had dropped that proposal because it was “dead on arrival.”

According to his campaign website, his plan is now to end federal energy subsidies, for both fossil fuels ($72 billion) and renewable energy ($39 billion). Rubens says it’s both these sets of subsidies that are preventing renewables from taking off. Ending these subsidies would result in over $100 billion in savings for the federal government, which might run afoul of the Koch’s requirement that climate action not make the government money, depending on how he and the Kochs look at it.

Rubens is running against Scott Brown, the former Senator from Massachusetts, for the Republican nomination. The winner faces Democrat Jeanne Shaheen in November.

Brown hedges on climate change, saying it’s a combination of “man-made and natural” causes. His energy plan doesn’t mention climate, and mostly focuses on expanding fossil fuels and “rein[ing] in the EPA’s regulatory authority.” He recently embarked on an “energy tour” of New Hampshire, where he complained about EPA regulations and advocated for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Meanwhile, New Hampshire officials are optimistic that their membership in the regional carbon trading program RGGI will be enough to meet the EPA’s carbon limits without any extra action.

Rubens himself made the best case for why legislators shouldn’t tie their hands on climate action in an interview with Stephen Lacey of Greentech Media just last week. “If candidates are forbidden from proposing bold solutions, we’re going to be confined to stuff that’s already been discussed and has failed to achieve political traction,” he said.

The post Republican Senate Candidate Signs Koch Pledge, Abruptly Changes His Tune On Climate Change appeared first on ThinkProgress.