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House of Cards

Hollywood’s Constitutional Blunder

Nathaniel Bell/Netflix

House of Cards is only the latest show to misrepresent the 25th amendment as shady back door route to the white house, but it’s really an essential tool for orderly succession.

As the nation binges on Season 2 of “House of Cards,” we have witnessed ruthless House Majority Whip Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) maneuver for the vice president to resign and for him to be appointed to the position. It’s no spoiler to say that Underwood clearly won’t be content to remain a heartbeat away from the presidency. But the biggest casualty of “House of Cards” might well turn out to be the 25th Amendment, which governs vice presidential succession.

Battle Cry

Show Me the Medicaid Money

© Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Support for the repeal of Obamacare dropped to 31 percent this week, but right-wing states are still rejecting billions in free money. Buckle up Republicans, Obamacare is here to stay.

Somewhat quietly, Obamacare enrollment hit 4 million this week. Now, it’s certainly true—as critics have noted—that enrollees aren’t the same thing as people who will continue to stay with their plan for a full year. If an enrollee encounters an unexpected expense of replacing a head gasket or something like that, he might skip a payment. But even so, 4 million’s a more-than-respectable number.Also rather quietly this week, a new tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed support for repeal of Obamacare down to 31 percent.

The ‘Gangsta’ Rap Scapegoat

Randy Holmes

Every time the question of black teenagers comes up, someone blames 'gangsta rap' for their problems. It's nonsense.

Jay-Z is a multimedia mogul with a gift for business and the credibility of the art world. Kanye West is a hyper-talented producer and visual artist who has refined and redefined the sound of pop music several times over. And in their relentless drive for accomplishment and success, they embody the American dream.To Bill O’Reilly, however, they’re just “gangster rappers” who need to be put in their place. Or at least, that’s what he said on Thursday, when he spoke to Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett about the president’s new program to help young minority men.

November

Netroots Hunt Democrats

The Daily Beast

In a handful of races, progressives are challenging the D.C. establishment to try to steer the Democratic Party in a new direction.

Even before Gary Miller announced that he was retiring from Congress, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee got behind Pete Aguilar, the mayor of the city of Redlands, Calif., and third-place finisher the previous cycle. But then the San Bernardino Republican abruptly retired this month, and the race to succeed him has sparked a fierce battle on the Democratic side, with the DCCC standing behind Aguilar while online organizers known as The Netroots rallied their base to back Eloise Gomez Reyes, a labor lawyer.

Patriot Games

Tea Party Is 5! No More Tantrums?

The Daily Beast

The movement’s most-ardent followers whooped and hollered in Washington, flattered, fawned over, and urged by luminaries of the far right to never, ever stop.

Mardi Gras came a few days early to Washington, as Tea Party Patriots from around the nation gathered to celebrate the movement’s fifth anniversary. The press release touting the event promised a rollicking good time: “Tea Party Rocks Washington.” Admittedly, it wasn’t the sort of party that anyone outside of politics would consider fun: The day’s schedule consisted of eight hours of speechifying, largely confined to meeting rooms in the basement of the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency.

Up to a Point

P.J. on Ukraine, Craps & the Fed

David Howells/Corbis

El Chapo was tracked down by the hemisphere’s most sinister power, Obama found a way to finally shake the Muslim label—and who was that muscular nurse kissing Sochi goodbye?

Hey, Detroit, This Is Just The Kind of Thing You’ll Want To Try With Pit Bulls…Naples, Italy, with $2 billion in overdue municipal debt, crumbling infrastructure, and pervasive organized crime, cracks down on dog poop. Every dog in the city will be given a DNA test and, when a steaming pile is found on the street, DNA match will be made and the dog’s owner will be fined up to 500 euros.2014 Sochi Winter Olympics Ended Sunday…Without terrorism incidents, thanks to improved cellphone coverage in Chechnya and Dagestan.

The Real Arizona Isn’t Anti-Gay

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

A native Arizonan and first-generation American argues homophobia is an outlier in the state’s tolerant and diverse culture.

Wednesday, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed an anti-gay bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians and pretty much anyone else on the basis of “religious freedom.” After mounting pressure from corporations, civil rights activists and the likes of Mitt Romney, John McCain—not to mention, the threat of the state losing the next Super Bowl, the Governor’s decision was finally made. This is just the latest of a streak of crazy to rival Miley Cyrus that’s pushed the people and the state of Arizona into the intense but at-least-its-a-dry heat of the national spotlight.

Big Whoop

Arizona Can Still Fire Gays

ART FOXALL/Landov

Jan Brewer’s veto of SB 1062 doesn’t change a thing: discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is quite alright by the law.

Being an Arizona resident entitles you to a lot of peculiar things. You can never be legally refused a glass of water. Your driver’s license won’t expire until you hit retirement age. Every gallon of ice cream you purchase in the Grand Canyon State is guaranteed to weigh at least four and a half pounds. What being an Arizonan doesn’t guarantee you is the right to not be fired for being gay, and Governor Janet Brewer’s veto of SB 1062 doesn’t change a damn thing about that.

Cry Babies

Frazer Harrison

Paula Deen likens herself to gay NFL prospect Michael Sam while defenders of Arizona’s anti-gay bill see themselves as proverbial Christians being thrown to the lions.

Paula Deen, the erstwhile maven of Southern cooking—or at least, a lard-laden caricature of it—is in trouble again, this time, for comparing her legal plight to the actual plight Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay prospective player:“I feel like ‘embattled’ or ‘disgraced’ will always follow my name. It’s like that black football player who recently came out. He said, ‘I just want to be known as a football player. I don’t want to be known as a gay football player.

Equality

Morally and Legally Right

Samantha Sais/Reuters

The history of civil-rights law is clearly on Jan Brewer's side with her veto of discriminatory SB 1062.

There’s no question that Jan Brewer did the right thing yesterday. No moral question. And no legal question either. Well, let me slightly amend that: With this Supreme Court, you never know about the future. But we know about the past, and decades of civil-rights case law are squarely on Brewer’s side, and supporters of SB 1062 just have to see this clearly and squarely and accept it.It’s not like we’ve never fought over these questions. We have, of course, and a result, there’s a history here.

New Nepotism

Spoiled Rotten Kids of DC’s Elite

The Daily Beast

A governor’s daughter is made CEO without a MBA. A senator’s son starts a hedge fund right out of college. Democrats have joined Republicans in the new nepotism.

Joe Manchin’s daughter Heather was looking for a job. The now-senator and one-time governor of West Virginia was only a state level rep when he ran into Milan Pushkar—the head of Mylan Inc., a Fortune 500 pharmaceuticals company—at a West Virginia University basketball game. Heather was hired for an entry-level position at the company soon after. Records show Mylan benefitted from millions of dollars worth of corporate tax breaks in the state during Manchin’s gubernatorial tenure.

This is Gonna Hurt

The H.M.O. That Kills Terrorists

Getty

That’s what the Pentagon is in danger of becoming unless something’s done about military benefits, experts warn.

The reaction was swift, and it was powerful. Defense Secretary Hagel put a reduction in military benefits on the table; Pentagon officials point to what they describe as unsustainable personnel costs, everything from health care to day care to discounted commissary privileges. Veterans groups called it unconscionable to inflict cuts of any kind on a force that has endured repeated deployments. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, benefits received by active-duty military together with millions of retirees have grown more than 40 percent faster than inflation in the decade between 2001 and 2012.

Too Soon?

Sarah Palin, But With Credentials

Bill Clark/Getty

As defense and foreign policy return to the fore and with a Hillary candidacy looming, the first term New Hampshire senator is looking more and more like the GOP’s best veep choice to sure up the ticket in 2016.

Ask any two Republicans who their choice is for president in 2016 and you’ll get three answers; but when it comes to the GOP choice for vice president, there’s an emerging sense of agreement, especially in the establishment wing of the party: Senator Kelly Ayotte.The field of potential top of the ticket candidates include a wide range of possibilities: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Mike Pence, and many more. Any of them could benefit from sharing the spotlight with a conservative woman rising star who has real national security bona fides and hails from the state with the first primary elections in the 2016 cycle.

Star Activism

Why Does DC Listen to Celebrities?

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty

Ben Affleck and Seth Rogen went to Washington today to lobby policymakers on Congo and Alzheimer’s. Is their campaigning effective, or a failure of the political process?

What is the point of celebrity? What is the point of a celebrity? Sometimes, like on Oscars night, we like them to look their prettiest, and then later—when they inevitably flub or say something overly fulsome or weepy—we get on with the cackling. Sometimes, when they are deemed to have dressed badly they are condemned, and other times, they are lavished with lunatic praise for a haircut.The most intriguing celebrities are not the ones who dress best, or simply court greater fame and count their shekels, but those who attempt to use their inflated position in the world for the wider good.

Veto

Arizona to Remain in 21st Century

Darryl Webb/Reuters

After pressure from Mitt Romney to the NFL, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed businesses to discriminate against gays for religious reasons.

On Wednesday night, after nearly a week of suspense, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed Senate Bill 1062. Widely seen as enshrining anti-gay discrimination, the legislation would have protected business owners from lawsuits if they refused to serve customers based on religious beliefs. The bill had drawn a huge backlash across the country, with the NFL considering moving the Super Bowl from the Grand Canyon State in 2015 if the bill became law.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

  1. President Obama, Guided by Faith Play

    President Obama, Guided by Faith

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    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

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