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The 'Anti-Gay' Ratings Racket

The Daily Beast

GM, yes. Washington Post, no? The Human Rights Campaign’s standards for corporate America’s gay-friendliness have modernized—but it’s evaluation methods haven’t.

On April 1, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation honored more than 300 major employers at the 12th Annual LGBT Workplace Awards Reception.  Some of the biggest names in corporate America were celebrated at the gala event, including AT&T, Viacom, Nike, and Boeing. Even companies that have recently faced criticism for ethically questionable business practices were honored, including Bank of America, Pfizer, Monsanto, and General Motors.All of these companies earned their spots at the dinner at the Time Warner Center in New York City by receiving a perfect score of 100 percent on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

Health Crisis

Meet the House GOP Shrink

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty

Rep. Tim Murphy sometimes get teased by colleagues about his profession. But in the wake of the Fort Hood and Pittsburgh attacks, he could see Families in Mental Health Crisis Act become law.

From the Fort Hood soldier who last week opened fire and killed three of his comrades to the Pennsylvania teenager who was charged this week with knifing 19 of his fellow students and a security guard, lawmakers want to know what sets off such violent attacks and how to prevent the next one. In the case of the Fort Hood soldier, it’s been reported that he had an altercation with a superior who denied his request for leave. The teenager is said to have had a confrontational phone call the night before he allegedly went on his rampage.

Criminal Justice

Prison Reform is Bigger in Texas

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty

The Lone Star State has led a surprisingly progressive overhaul of its incarceration system. The story behind the bipartisan push that GOP contenders may be extolling come 2016.

It appears Rick Perry is going to run for president again in 2016. Perry, 65, will leave the governor’s office next January after serving for 14 years, beginning in 2000, when George W. Bush resigned to prepare for the presidency. In recent months, Perry has appeared in both Iowa and South Carolina. At South by South West in Austin last month, Perry told Jimmy Kimmel “America is a great place for second chances.” As he creeps back onto the national stage, Perry—who has overseen the executions of 268 people—more executions than any other governor in United States history—has brought with him an unlikely Lone Star State success story: prison reform.

The Hill

Could Shutdown Haunt Burwell?

Larry Downing/Reuters

Obama’s nominee to succeed Kathleen Sebelius played a key role in closing Washington’s monuments—a still-bitter issue for Republicans and their base.

The nomination of Sylvia Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services could lead to the reopening of a fiercely divisive issue that dominated the news in the fall of 2013. Not healthcare.gov, but the government shutdown. As director of the Office of Management and Budget, Burwell was the individual who sent out the memo on the eve of the October 1 deadline for Congress to fund the government, saying officials should “now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations.

GOP Rules

Surviving a GOP Sex Scandal

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Why is Rep. Vance McAllister being urged to resign after an affair, while Sen. David Vitter is still going strong after his prostitution scandal? It all comes down to political pull.

What’s the difference between a French kiss in a hallway and paying a French Quarter prostitute for sex? One is a grievous political sin worthy of resigning from Congress and the other is paying a French Quarter prostitute for sex.Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA) is now facing resignation calls from within his party, including from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and the chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, after being caught on camera smooching a staffer.

The Wall Cracks

Obama, NATO Chief Split On Ukraine

Hazir Reka/Reuters

The commander of NATO is insisting that the West do more to protect Ukraine from a possible Russian invasion. But the Obama administration has other plans.

Late last month, as the world was still reeling from Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO was warning Congress that Moscow was preparing to make another move.During classified briefings on March 26 and March 27, Gen. Philip Breedlove painted for members of the House Armed Services Committee a bleak picture of Russia’s actions—and warned that the United States was not taking steps it could to help Ukraine better defend itself.

Grow Up

DC’s Politics of Self-Destruction

The Daily Beast

From ‘un-American’ slander to shouting like a teenager at the leader of the free world, politicians on both parties are misrepresenting our country—and themselves.

Years ago, Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote a story about Ronald Reagan entitled When Character Was King.  In describing the 40th President of the United States, Noonan wrote: “…The secret of his success was no secret at all. It was his character—his courage, his kindness, his persistence, his honesty…that was the most important element of his success.”  Looking at the political sewer that is Washington, D.C. today, the lack of character, courage, kindness and honesty by some of the men and women elected to represent us all is galling for its lack of maturity and sophistication.

Prejudicial

It’s Time to End Profiling

Robert Nickelsberg/Getty

The attorney general’s new rules cleared the way for more inequity, including tracking whole communities based on ethnicity and religion.

When will the FBI finally stop using religion and ethnicity as a reason to investigate Americans? Well, not any time soon if the New York Times report on Thursday is correct regarding the new rules proposed by Attorney General Eric Holder.  It’s astounding that while this week we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Department of Justice still operates under rules that treat people differently based on their ethnicity or religion.

Rad-Con

What Plantation Is He Living On?

The Daily Beast

The Heritage Foundation chief’s ludicrous claim about who ended slavery in America is just his latest effort to destroy the federal government—past or present.

I once had this idea for a play about God, a comedy, in which the audience would be introduced to a series of casuists and charlatans and braggarts and bloviators, and they’d be carrying on, lecturing away on topics large and small with serene self-confidence. There’d be the sound of thunder and perhaps a puff of smoke, and from the wings, God would appear. He or She would, over the course of the three acts, take on numerous corporeal forms—white man, black woman, Asian man, Arab woman, et cetera—but in each guise would admonish the speaker: “No, asshole.

Health Care Reform

Will Sebelius Laugh Last?

Jim Young/Reuters

Yes, there was utter failure, but there was also one hell of a recovery. As time goes on, she'll get less blame for the former and more credit for the latter.

It was always going to be a tough job, Health and Human Services secretary under this president. Even so, I’d bet Kathleen Sebelius was plenty shocked at the whole business.True, she was only a second-string nominee, after Tom Daschle had to bow out because of those tax problems. But Sebelius still should have had little to fear. After all, she’d been the Democratic governor of a ruby-red state, Kansas. In a state where Republicans outnumbered Democrats roughly two-to-one, she won reelection in 2006 with 57 percent of the vote.

Out

Sebelius’s Shock Resignation

Gary Cameron/Reuters

It was a rocky tenure from her appointment all the way up to the botched Healthcare.gov rollout. Who is Sylvia Mathews Burwell, her likely successor?

Faster than an error message pops up while vigorously trying to reload healthcare.gov, Kathleen Sebelius is gone from the Department of Health and Human Services.An HHS official confirmed to The Daily Beast that Sebelius, the long-embattled secretary will announce her resignation on Friday. Sebelius, who has been under withering scrutiny for her role overseeing the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, is expected to be succeeded by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the chief of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

FUNNY OR DIE

This Pol’s Got Balls

Youtube

Iowa candidate Bob Quast pulls the trigger on a ballsy campaign in which he says “I’m gonna use my glock to blow your balls off.”

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bob Quast, a long-shot independent candidate for the United States Senate in Iowa (who hasn’t even filed an FEC report yet), laughed about his “spoof ad” where he wields both a gun and a knife and threatens criminals that he will “use my glock to blow your balls off.” Quast said the commercial cost him $868 to produce with the help of his neighbor who is a “professional videographer.”The ad begins with Quast, clad in a yellow IOWA sweatshirt, walking his dog, Mr.

Union Backer

Obama Loves Labor (on the DL)

Reuters

The president got headlines this week for an executive order targeting wage disparities, but far more of his work for unions has flown under the radar—and they’ll repay him in November.

A day before Senate Republicans blocked a bill aimed at addressing male-female wage disparities, President Obama signed an executive order targeting the same issue by prohibiting government contractors from retaliating against workers who discuss their pay.Both defenders and critics of the administration say going around Congress is a technique the Obama administration is using with greater frequency as it attempts to bolster organized labor and make workplaces safer and fairer.

It’s Automatic

Our Mindless Government

The Daily Beast

From infrastructure improvements to entitlement spending, government is on autopilot, according to author Philip K. Howard. It’s a ‘form of tyranny,’ he says, and disaster is looming.

If the government that governs least governs best, then the government that governs via a demented form of “scientific management” and “legal assembly line” governs worst.That’s the essential insight of Philip K. Howard’s important new book, The Rule of Nobody: Saving America From Dead Laws and Broken Government. An attorney by trade, Howard is the author of The Death of Common Sense: How Law Is Suffocating America, a huge 1995 best seller that started a still-heated and vital national conversation about nuisance lawsuits, power-tripping bureaucrats and special interests, and out-of-control regulations.

‘Over Broad’

Bridgegate Subpoenas Thrown Out

Mike Segar/Reuters

A committee investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures that have haunted Chris Christie won’t get its hands on documents from two key figures in the case, a judge rules.

Two main characters in the real-life drama of Bridgegate will not be required to comply with legislative subpoenas ordering them to hand over documents, a judge ruled on Wednesday afternoon. The decision may render the joint legislative committee investigating the lane closures obsolete. Bridget Anne Kelly, Gov. Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, and Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager and a one-time would-be chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party, made the rare argument that in their case, turning over documents would be testimonial in nature and thus would violate their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

'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

  2. Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt Play

    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

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