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The Anti-Gay Law Blizzard of Lies

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Following SB 1062's veto, supporters are backpedaling to save face any way they can—from linguistics to redefining the original meaning of the bill. Kirsten Powers calls their bluff.

Conservative backers of Arizona bill SB 1062 had two choices following Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of the right-to-discriminate bill. They could defend the bill on its merits. Or, they could distort the contents of the bill and attack anyone who disagreed with them as a legal Luddite and hysteric. Sadly, they chose the latter.Conservatives fanned out to claim that the bill was a big nothingburger. Anyone who was upset about it was exaggerating its potential impact.

WORD PLAY

Romney Vindicated on Russia

Rick Wilking/Reuters

Despite all his high-points value moves, Obama is losing his game of Words With Americans by spouting fluff. It’s time he starts playing like a pro by using language that begets follow-through.

Barack Obama came into the presidency with a conviction that he understood the world, the world understood him, and it was a perfect match destined to create a new era. His June 2009 speech in Cairo was a well-articulated vision of the world:“I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.

Don’t Listen to McCain on Russia

Kena Betancur/Getty

Two out of John McCain’s three suggestions for how to aid the conflict in Ukraine and Russia are bad—and if the U.S. isn’t careful, it may end up more involved than it can afford to be.

I’m not sure what we should do about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I am, however, dead sure about what we shouldn’t do. Please, Washington—don’t listen to John McCain!The leader of the capital’s bombs-away caucus spoke exclusively over the weekend to the Beast’s Josh Rogin, who nailed the scoop. It was a relief to see McCain acknowledging that there is no plausible military option. So that’s progress. But the steps McCain advises are certain to heighten tensions and probably start a new Cold War, which is surely what the thuggish Putin wants.

Fringe Factor

Gays Make Christians Slaves

Matt York/AP

Arizona’s Christian pastry chefs and photographers prepare for gay enslavement, ladies just don’t understand divorce, and a blind man with a history of gun violence has been rearmed.

Bakers in Arizona will now be forced to make penis cakes for gay weddings, most women don’t know what they’re doing when they file for divorce, and a blind man who shot and killed a friend just got his guns back.Arizona Christians Are Now Slaves to the GaysNot everyone was happy with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision to veto a bill permitting businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians, but Judson Phillips may have had the most outrageous reaction.

TOUGH WORDS

McCain: Here’s How to Punish Putin

VIKTOR DRACHEV/Getty

In an exclusive interview, Senator John McCain identifies several ways the U.S. could respond to Vladimir Putin’s decision to move Russian troops into Ukraine.

President Obama promised Friday there would be “costs” if Russia moved troops into Ukraine, but he didn’t specify what those costs might be. Sen. John McCain has several suggestions for Obama, including the sanctioning of high-level Russian officials; restarting missile defense plans in Eastern Europe; and bringing Georgia, a former Soviet republic, into NATO. McCain plans to push from the Congressional side, he told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview Saturday evening.

SCARED

Why Do Gays Scare Conservatives?

Getty

The push in Arizona to legalize discrimination didn’t come out of nowhere. It was a response to the imaginary belief in the “homosexual agenda” of “total domination.”

Some on the right are really freaked out by gays. In fact, some don’t even want to do business with them.  You really need to have some serious issues with gay people to say “no” to their money in this challenging economy.Why is fear mongering against the LGBT community part of the conservative platform? True, Arizona governor Jan Brewer just vetoed a bill that would’ve in essence legally sanctioned discrimination against members of the gay community, but still 13 other states are or have recently considered similar laws.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Obamacare's 2014 Midterm Effect

Are Democrats in trouble in the upcoming midterm elections? Yes, says The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky, but not because of the Affordable Care Act.

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