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Still Not Here to Make Friends

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Ted Cruz has returned to his old tricks of undermining his colleagues and working to end their careers.

After the government shutdown, a chastened Ted Cruz promised not to work with the Senate Conservative Fund, an outside group which works to defeat incumbent Republican senators. It was the least he could do to win the good graces of his colleagues, after leading the party to a stand-off that tanked its popularity and gave Obama a victory.Since then, Cruz has been quiet, and the GOP has recovered from the debacle of October, helped—in large part—by the initial problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Bad Boys

The ‘Freedom’ to Discriminate

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The six prominent conservatives who still urged Governor Jan Brewer to sign SB 1062 even though much of the GOP had turned on the measure.

Arizona Senate Bill 1062, the controversial anti-gay measure that was passed by the state legislature last week and vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer on Wednesday, drew vocal opposition within the GOP. The party’s past two presidential nominees, Mitt Romney and John McCain, come out against the bill, along with several state senators who voted for the bill and most of the Grand Canyon State’s business community. But while Governor Jan Brewer was still pondering whether to sign or veto the legislation, which would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve customers for religious reasons, there were still some people urging Brewer to sign the legislation.

Partisan or Racist?

The Washington Post

Where ever there's racially polarized voting, there's probably racism too.

On Tuesday, NPR aired a report from Louisiana, where Senator Mary Landrieu is running against a strong Republican challenger. The reporter, Alisa Chang, spoke to a few voters to get their views on the contest, and one of them was completely candid with his perspective:One of the men sitting under the tree one particular afternoon is Beau Broussard. He’s not Cajun, but they let him hang out here anyway. Broussard says for years, people running for political office have visited this oak tree.

Underwhelmed

Obama Gets an F for Foreign Policy

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Even Democrats don’t see him as a strong leader in the world at this point of his presidency.

Six years into Obama’s presidency, the public is losing faith that our president can command the respect of other nations. It’s not hard to see why.The Olympics in Sochi came to an end last week, and less than a half-day’s drive away, Ukraine is in a state of turmoil, with its leader having fled the capital in the face of protesters demanding reforms. In Venezuela, over a dozen are dead and CNN has been booted from the country in protests against a government that has long stifled democracy and impoverished its own people.

Viva Change

America's Stupidest Foreign Policy

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What rational basis is there for punishing the Castro regime when the U.S. will trade with China, talk to Iran, or deal with Vietnam? It’s time to end the cold war that outlasted the Cold War.

Facing a House of Representatives frozen in its own ideology, Barack Obama is relying on executive action: first to raise the minimum wage for new federal contract workers and soon to impose new limits on carbon emissions. Some observers see this as an implicit admission of a presidency in twilight. In reality, Obama can and should act in history-making ways, at home on issues like climate change, and overseas on the longest, if not the dumbest, American foreign-policy mistake, just 90 miles from our shores.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Texas: Where Crazy Gets Elected

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One of America’s largest states has the highest percentage of uninsured citizens in the country—yet its bullheaded leaders still won’t get on board with Obamacare or the president himself. What’s more, it seems the Texan population are A-OK with that.

So what happens in Texas when the Republican gubernatorial candidate invites Ted Nugent to the state to campaign for him not long after the Motor City Motormouth has called the President of the United States a “subhuman mongrel,” not to mention a “Communist” and a “gangster”? Would you believe, as Maxwell Smart used to say, that the candidate increases his lead? Well that’s what has happened. There’s crazy, and then there’s Texas crazy.In a poll that came out Monday, conducted as the Nugent controversy was brewing, Republican Greg Abbott leads Democrat Wendy Davis by 11 points, which Politico notes is up from six points in a poll last year.

Playing ‘Dirty’

The Skunk at the Oscar Party

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Jeremy Scahill may not fit in amongst Leo and Marty, but even if he doesn’t take home a statue for his documentary ‘Dirty Wars,’ he’s already winning big with the launch of ‘The Intercept,’ his new online venture backed by Ebay’s Pierre Omidyar.

Jeremy Scahill was the only person who worked on the documentary “Dirty Wars” who could bear to watch the Academy Awards nomination ceremony. The rest of the film’s cast and crew were too nervous. In fact, director Rick Rowley, made sure he was on the subway, so he couldn’t be reached.“And so the dude who plays ‘Thor.’ I don’t remember his name. The actor. I think he is Australian. He is announcing it and the president of the Academy is there and so I have no idea how any of it works.

Hyperbole

CPAC Attacks God

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Once-prominent conservative activist Brent Bozell claimed that CPAC was 'an attack on God himself' because it briefly invited an atheist group to set up a booth.

Is the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) "an attack on God Himself?" That's what once-prominent conservative activist Brent Bozell says. Bozell, the gingerbearded head of the Media Research Center, issued a statement Tuesday attacking CPAC, as well as its sponsor, the American Conservative Union, for issuing an invitation to the American Atheists to sponsor a booth at the conference. Although the invitation was quickly withdrawn by the political organization, Bozell still fulminated about the very thought of atheists being present at a conservative event "It makes absolutely no difference to me that CPAC and ACU have backed down and removed the booth," he said.

Cheney: Less Food Stamps, More War

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The former vice president is angry that President Obama would spend less on wars and military, and more on aid for low-income Americans.

In 2003, George Bush took two huge moves. He invaded Iraq, pushing the United States into a decade-long quagmire, and he signed a $1 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. In the past, presidents chose one or the other. You either cut taxes, or you fought wars, but you didn’t fight wars while cutting taxes. It was impractical, for the simple reason that wars aren’t free.When confronted with this, Vice President Dick Cheney—who supported the wars and the tax cuts—dismissed the concern.

Veto?

No Super Bowl for Anti-Gay AZ?

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If Arizona governor Jan Brewer signs an anti-gay bill, it could lead to the NFL moving next year's Super Bowl.

Could the Super Bowl keep Arizona Governor Jan Brewer from signing an anti-gay bill?The controversy over Senate Bill 1062 has swirled in recent days as even legislators who supported the bill, which would allow businesses to refuse to serve customers for religious reasons, are now backtracking. Three Republican state senators who voted for the bill have now come out against it while both of the state's Republican senators Jeff Flake and John McCain have also urged Brewer to veto the legislation.

A Family Affair

A Century Of Dingell?

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Could retiring Michigan congressman John Dingell be replaced by his wife Debbie?

It's possible one Michigan congressional district could be represented by a Congressman with the last name "Dingell" for an entire century.With Democrat John Dingell announcing his retirement from Congress yesterday after serving more than 58 years in office, it leaves a major void in politics of the Wolverine State. After all, Dingell had succeeded his father, John Dingell Sr. in Congress in a 1955 special election. John Sr. took office in 1933, which means that Michigan has had a Dingell on Capitol Hill since Franklin Delano Roosevelt was inaugurated.

Jindal Joins the 'Stupid Party'

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More than a year after saying Republicans need to not be the “stupid party,” the governor of Louisiana has given in to the dumb.

In the days after Mitt Romney’s defeat in the 2012 election, conservative wunderkind and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stepped up with harsh criticism for his party. “It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments—enough of that,” he told POLITICO. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party.“ Republicans, said Jindal, ”should stop being the stupid party“ and should ”fight for every single vote.

Freak Out in Kansas

Where Does the Tea Party Find These People?

I was on Hardball last night talking about the escapades of this Milton Wolf character, the tea party guy who’s challenging GOP incumbent Senator Pat Roberts this year. Wolf became freshly newsworthy this past weekend when the Topeka Capital-Journal revealed that in 2010, Wolf, a radiologist, posted photos of disfigured corpses on Facebook (of people who’d been shot, etc.) and joined other commenters in poking fun at the them.One image he posted showed a human skull all but blasted apart, about which Wolf wrote: “One of my all-time favorites,” Wolf posted to the Facebook picture.

Hate Hypocrisy

Uganda's Christian Mafia

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The evangelical organization that describes itself as a Christian mafia has been the hidden hand behind Uganda’s anti-gay bill, along with Rick Warren, the gay-bashing pastor who presided at Obama’s first inauguration.

The President of Uganda has just signed into law extreme anti-gay legislation.  In addition to imprisoning anyone who counsels or reaches out to the gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender community in Uganda, the law establishes a crime of “aggravated homosexuality” which include acts where one person is infected with HIV, “serial offenders,” and sex with minors. “Aggravated homosexuality” is punished with life in prison.  A previous version of the law, amended after worldwide protests, proscribed the death penalty.

The Bayou's Reality TV Race

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There will soon be a vacant slot to fill in Louisiana’s 6th, and the two interested candidates—Tony Perkins and Edwin Edwards—are guaranteed to bring a dose of drama to the podium.

Despite (or rather because of) being raised Southern Baptist, I am uncomfortable with the whole concept of intercessory prayer. Sarah Palin may be cool with asking God to bring her state a new pipeline, but I tend to question both the wisdom and efficacy of such special pleading. That said: Please, please, please, dear Lord, smile on your weary political servants and let the race for Louisiana’s 6th congressional district blossom into the saint-vs.

'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.

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