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NO WAY, JOSE

No Immigration Reform for Military

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty

Perhaps the most sympathetic group of the 11 million people who qualify for the DREAM Act isn’t good enough for immigration hardliners.

As the debate over immigration rages in Washington DC, a new controversy has broken out over a specific group of undocumented immigrants who broadly considered to be the most sympathetic subset of the over 11 million people who are in the United States illegally: those who qualify for the DREAM Act (which means they came to the United States illegally as children, graduated from high school and lived in the United States continuously for years) who volunteer to serve in the military.

Beak To Beak

Duck Dynasty Rep In Sex Scandal

AP

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), a first-term conservative congressman elected in a November special election, was shown in a romantic embrace with a staff member on a video tape released Monday.

The Duck Dynasty congressman got caught sticking his beak in the wrong place.Rep. Vance McAllister, a freshman Republican elected in a November special election with the support of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty, is already in a political scandal and asking forgiveness from his constituents. McAllister, a family values social conservative, was caught on camera apparently making out with his scheduler, Melissa Peacock, in the hallway of his Monroe, Louisiana, district office.

Godwin's Law

Major GOP Donor Sends Out Obamacare Hitler Parody

Eric Gay / AP Photo

Foster Friess, a major Republican donor, sent out a "humorous parody" video on Monday of Hitler complaining about Obamacare.

What could go wrong sending out a "humorous parody" of Adolf Hitler complaining about his Obamacare?The idea certainly didn't raise any red flags for Foster Friess, the conservative billionaire and Rick Santorum backer in 2012 who sent a "Humorous Parody of Hitler Realizing He Can’t Keep His Doctor Under ObamaCare" to his email list on Monday afternoon. The video, features a clip from the 2004 German movie "Downfall" of Hitler realizing that all was lost while his Berlin bunker.

Jimmy in the Middle

Fallon's Surprising Centrist Style

Theo Wargo/Getty

From slow jamming the news with Obama to playing musical instruments with Palin, Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ has become the late night destination for red and blue alike.

When Jay Leno left The Tonight Show (again) in February, conservative media was not exactly pleased.The thought process—masked in an argument for NBC not to remove its top-rated host in total audience and the key demo—was that late night had lost the only destination where Republicans could humanize themselves, show off their sense of humor and help shatter the portrayal of being stuffy, insensitive white guys who only exist to help the rich get richer.

Cave?

The House GOP’s Obamacare Wink

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Even as they publicly decry the president’s health care law, the moves they’re making behind closed doors reveal they may be resigned to its existence.

It’s not all that often that the lead piece on the Drudge Report attacks Republicans, so it’s worth a little savoring when it happens, and this one is especially delectable. The link was to an AP story reporting that two weeks ago, House Republicans stealthily voted for a measure that changed an aspect of the Affordable Care Act.What? I know. In other words, Congress amends bill it passed a few years ago. In a normal moral universe, this would scarcely qualify as news.

GROUNDHOG DAYS

Our Exhausted Politics

Getty

For partisan and media elites, ‘the past is never dead. It’s not even past,’ which means with these two candidates likely to lead the race in 2016, the future doesn’t look so different.

As if we need it, here’s extra proof that contemporary politics is more thoroughly exhausted than adult actress Lisa Sparkxxx must have been at the end of her record-setting roll in the hay at the 2004 “Eroticon” in Warsaw, Poland.The Washington Post reports, “Many of the Republican Party’s most powerful insiders and financiers have begun a behind-the-scenes campaign to draft former Florida governor Jeb Bush into the 2016 presidential race, courting him and his intimates and starting talks on fundraising strategy.

Afghan Triumph

Would You Risk Your Life to Vote?

Rahmat Gul/AP

In November 2012, U.S. voter turnout was 58 percent. And on Saturday, Afghan turnout was about the same—in the face of dire threats and violence. What does that say about our democracy?

What would you be willing to risk in order to vote? Would you cast a ballot if it meant your finger might be cut off? Would you head to the polls if there were a credible threat that terrorists were going to blow up your polling station? Would you even leave your house on Election Day if terrorists threatened to kill people who voted?I doubt I would risk that much. But those were the dangers the people of Afghanistan faced as they went to the polls Saturday to determine who would succeed President Hamid Karzai.

Lotsa Luck

Can This Man Save the Pentagon?

Harry Hamburg/AP

Bob Work is one of the few defense experts in Washington who thinks strategy first and weapons second. Somehow, he’s about to become the Pentagon’s No. 2.

In Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye, there’s a scene where one of Mendy’s boys follows Philip Marlowe out of a bar. There might have been trouble, Marlowe says, “if this enormous man hadn’t got out of an enormous car” and thrown the kid one-handed against the wall. “What was that?” Marlowe asks the bruised gangster. “Big Willie Magoon. A policeman. He thinks he’s tough.”Magoon isn’t that tough, as he finds out when Mendy sends a few more guys to remind him as much.

Fringe Factor

Marriage Is for Breeders

Peter Dazeley/Getty

Gay rights advocates are so intolerant, the head of an NY gun organization wants no part of a pro-gun rally, and the Boy Scouts have kicked out a scout leader for making an issue of his gayness.

VA Clerks: Marriage Is for Couples Who Can Accidentally Get Pregnant
The two Virginia officials appealing a federal judge’s February ruling striking down the state’s same-sex marriage ban are really pulling out all the stops to prove that Virginia is only for straight lovers. In their opening briefs, Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George E. Schaefer, III and Prince William County Circuit Court Clerk Michele B. McQuigg both argued that one of the reasons for marriage is to encourage couples to get hitched in the event of an unwanted pregnancy—a problem same-sex couples are spared the pleasure of experiencing.

Four Freedoms

Still Waiting for the 4 Freedoms

AP

Through a depression and a world war, Franklin Roosevelt successfully challenged Americans to embody and protect the Four Freedoms. It’s time we reaffirmed that commitment.

On April 12, 1946—the first anniversary of the passing of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt—the progressive writer and editor Max Lerner published a column titled simply “FDR: The People Remember.”In it, Lerner wrote:  “A few days ago, when it had become clear that the whole nation would observe the first anniversary of FDR’s death … the New York Daily News [which had always hated FDR] published a griping editorial. Why, it asked, should Americans be observing both Roosevelt’s birthday and his death-day? Even for Washington and Lincoln one observance day was enough.

Declaration of Dependence

‘Dependent’ Isn’t a Dirty Word

Chris Keane/Reuters

Too many Americans—including Christians—are afraid that helping the poor will create ‘dependency.’ They’re forgetting that’s what religion is all about.

Not long ago, I preached a Lenten sermon in which I made a lone reference to food stamps as being one of the ways we “love our neighbors as ourselves.” Judging from the reactions of a few congregants, you might have thought it was all I preached about. They went out of their way to tell me how such programs “breed” complacency, laziness, and—wait for it—dependency.It reminded me of Rep. Paul Ryan, who’s always carrying on about America’s “culture of dependency,” and just realized a major budget proposal that would slash food stamps and other government measures that relieve the misery of the poorest Americans.

Crisis

Fixing Military Mental Healthcare

© Umit Bektas / Reuters

To fix the military’s mental healthcare system we need to give service members regular, individualized care so they can get help for problems before they get out of hand.

No one yet knows exactly what led to the shooting rampage at the Fort Hood Army base, where a soldier, Ivan Lopez, killed 3 people and wounded 16 before taking his own life. We do know, that Lopez had reported himself for mental health problems and saw an army psychiatrist a month before his crime.Stigmatizing soldiers by depicting them all as mentally unstable is a damaging fallacy but we have to face up to the serious shortcomings in the way the military treats the psychological and emotional problems of those in its ranks.

Criminal Justice

Too Rich for Prison Rape

The Daily Beast

Choose your outrage: The wealthy litigate their way out of punishment, prisoner abuse makes a mockery of the law, or lawmakers who can’t follow through on prison reforms.

In 2009, Delaware Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden ordered probation, not prison, for unemployed DuPont heir Robert Richards IV. We’re only hearing the news now because Richards’ ex-wife Tracy filed civil suit against him last month. But Americans have wasted no time in becoming sick with rage.Why? In her sentencing order, Jurden noted that Richards “would not fare well” behind bars. Instead, he received a suspended sentence. Eight years at the mercy of the state’s inmates turned into probation, treatment, and a prohibition against contact with kids under 16 years of age.

Game Over

How Obama Lost Afghanistan

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

He said it was ‘the right war.’ Then he did everything he could to screw it up.

Despite the violence and uncertainty surrounding this Saturday’s election for a new Afghan President, there’s one positive —Hamid Karzai, the sitting president and the architect of much of the country’s unrest, is not on the ballot this time. But while Karzai must cede power under the rules of the Afghan constitution, the other leader whose mismanagement helped tank Afghanistan abandoned his influence in what he once called “the right war” a long time ago.

Injustice

There’s No Right to Buy Elections

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Supreme Court ruled in McCutcheon that a cap on campaign donations violates freedom of speech. This is a dangerous misunderstanding of the First Amendment and why it exists.

The five justices on the Supreme Court (John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito) who consistently hold unconstitutional laws that attempt to set limits on the size of permissible campaign contributions and expenditures have embraced a distorted—and dangerous—conception of the First Amendment. Perversely, their understanding of the First Amendment threatens to undermine the very democracy that the First Amendment was designed by the Framers of our Constitution to preserve.

'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

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