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The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP

The Daily Beast

It’s a tiny religion featuring fembots, creationists, and a leader who says his ‘Holocaust Deception’ book was a mistake. Why are so many in the GOP appearing on its TV network?

On May 24, 2012, Senator Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, gave an innocuous interview to a visiting journalist from Turkey.  “There are a lot of good people who would love to see peace, if only the hatred that exists were to vanish,” he said.What Senator Kyl could not have known is that the “journalist” with whom he was speaking was actually part of a religious organization whose leader has spent time in jail amid accusations of extortion, forced sex, and bizarre, cult-like behavior.

Forebearance

Rand Paul and the Welfare Rancher

Jim Urquhart/Reuters

The Nevada rancher’s escalating standoff with the feds raises a worrisome question: Can Americans’ relationship with their government—and each other—be saved?

When Rand Paul is the most prominent voice for peace on a polarizing issue, you know something strange is happening to America.Who would have expected a political furor to erupt around a single Nevada rancher? But Cliven Bundy is exactly the sort of weird person that today’s ideological camps struggle to understand. To vocal conservatives, he’s a folk hero, a model of civil disobedience. To Sen. Harry Reid, on the other hand, his supporters are “nothing more than domestic terrorists.

Complex History

Can HRC Count on Women This Time?

Gaston De Cardenas/Reuters

They famously supported her in 2008—until they helped Obama win Iowa. So will the grandmother-to-be inspire female voters next cycle, or will they judge her on a harsher scale?

The event where Chelsea Clinton announced her pregnancy this week was billed as “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation.” But many saw it as much more than a “conversation” about the future of girls and women around the world. Instead, it looked like the first unofficial campaign event of a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run. After all, women have been considered the key to any Clinton victory. The question now, however, seems to be: Will they be?Clinton has a notoriously complex history with women.

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Robyn Twomey/Redux

Michael Tubbs, a 23-year-old councilmember in Stockton, California, and the star of the documentary ‘True Son,’ says that now is the time for young people to engineer social change.

“What are you going to do after you graduate?” was a question I grew to loathe during my senior at Stanford University. The pressure was immense as I was fully expected to add another prestigious institution to my resume, whether a high-profile company, a top graduate school, or a renowned fellowship.  For months, I struggled with the decision and after being rejected as a finalist from a fellowship I found myself at a crossroads.  Until that point, public service was the thread that tied my extracurricular and academic pursuits in college together, but it wasn’t something that I saw as a viable full-time pursuit.

Changing Times

Senior Dem's Tough Re-Election

Chip Somodevilla/Getty

After 38 years in Congress, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) is facing his toughest race yet and could join a number of longtime members in leaving Congress next year.

Nick Rahall has been representing the heart of coal country in southern West Virginia since 1977 but he might not for much longer.The 19-term Democratic incumbent, who chaired the House National Resources Committee from 2007-2011 and would be in line to take over the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee if Democrats somehow manage to take back control of the House in 2014, is in the congressional race of his life.According to Politico Rahall now “trails significantly” his Republican opponent, State Senator Evan Jenkins and the incumbent wasn’t included in a long list of ad reservations announced by the Democratic superPAC, House Majority PAC, although the group has been spending heavily on his behalf.

Viral

Vote for Me, Win a Free Car

Long-shot Bob Quast will do almost anything to win the Democratic nomination.

The "blow your balls off” candidate is back with another campaign commercial, called “#winaDINO" Bob Quast, 44, is a long-shot primary candidate for the U.S. Senate from Iowa. According to LinkedIn, he is also president of Custom Limousines & Exotic Cars, Inc. where he rents out “very expensive high-end limousines.” Quast is using his experience in the car rental business to appeal to voters with his latest ad.“Iowa, if I win this election, I’m going to blow your mind and give away a free car,” Quast says, promising to give away his campaign car, a 2014 Chevy Spark.

LOW BALLIN’

Krugman Is a Steal at $225K

Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The only thing hypocritical about acclaimed economist Paul Krugman’s CUNY salary is the right-wingers suddenly begrudging someone his free-market value.

When I first read those articles Wednesday about Paul Krugman’s new City University of New York salary, I didn’t even understand what the “story” was supposed to be. I don’t mind admitting that I had to have it explained to me that the $225,000 figure was supposed to mark some kind of hypocrisy on Krugman’s part. Oh, please. The only hypocrisy on display here, as usual, is that of his right-wing critics, suddenly begrudging someone his free-market value.

2016

The Book Tour Hillary Should Fear

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

When Elizabeth Warren hits the road to promote her memoir, the senator likely will draw a critical group of Democrats that the front-runner has had trouble connecting with before.

Elizabeth Warren is not running for president. This we know, not just because she said so at a press conference in December (It’s hard to get much more definitive than “I’m not running for president and I plan to serve out my term”) but because she has done nothing in terms of travel or fundraising that would lay the groundwork for such a campaign.Running now would open Warren up to charges that she abandoned Massachusetts after little more than a cup of coffee in the Senate, and that she is hurting the chances of Hillary Clinton becoming the first female president.

‘An Act of Love’

How the Pope Is Remaking the GOP

AFP/Getty

The wildly popular Francis is offering cover for a few Republicans, including Jeb Bush, to start speaking out in favor of some deeply unpopular issues within the party.

When Jeb Bush stepped up this month to declare illegal immigration “an act of love,” he provoked precisely the conservative pile-on you’d expect. The right’s favorite crabby uncle, Charles Krauthammer, dourly pronounced the comments “bizarre.” Rep. Raul Labrador accused Jebbie of pandering.  Noted intellectual Donald Trump declared Bush’s thinking “ridiculous” and “dangerous.” And God help anyone who ventured onto sites like RedState.com. Most perfectly, fake-winger Stephen Colbert eulogized, “He will be missed.

Farmville

Is Iowa’s Guv the Next Christie?

Brian Frank/Reuters

Terry Branstad is a GOP kingmaker who could lose his bid for a sixth term thanks to scandal upon scandal.

Terry Branstad is a political Goliath. The five-term Iowa governor has been the dominant figure in the Hawkeye State’s politics for decades. Branstad has never lost an election and is perhaps the longest-serving governor in American history. But after 19 years in office (16 from 1982 to 1998 before returning to politics in 2010), Branstad has found himself in scandal after scandal after scandal.The most recent controversy that the Iowa governor has faced in recent weeks is an ongoing investigation about whether the state was firing employees for political reasons and then paying them to agree to confidentiality agreements about their termination.

ON THE DEFENSE

Stop Stockpiling Web Glitches

The Daily Beast

Members of the President’s Intelligence Review Group declare that playing defense by alerting the public to hacks is the best response when situations like Heartbleed occur.

When word spread last week about the greatest cyberspace vulnerability in years, the aptly named Heartbleed vulnerability, the first question that many asked was “Did NSA know?” Because of the prior revelations about NSA activity, there is now a natural suspicion among many citizens that the NSA would be using such a weakness in the fabric of cyberspace to collect information. Bloomberg even reported that the NSA did know and had been exploiting the mistake in encryption.

Existential Dread

Liberal Hypocrisy on Cash and Guns

Vartanov Anatoly/Shutterstock

Michael Bloomberg’s anti-NRA campaign reveals why liberals love money in politics as much as everybody else: They’re terrified.

Have you heard the depressing, outrageous news?The dreaded Koch brothers are dumping $50 million into an election-year campaign to target their political enemies and—this is a direct quote—“make them afraid of us.”Isn’t it revolting? When will the influence of money in politics ever subside?Wait, what’s that you say? I have my names wrong? That’s not the Koch brothers with the $50 million plan? That quote belongs to someone else?It’s actually Michael Bloomberg spending that sum, to strike fear into the hearts of NRA members and beat them at their own game?It’s Shannon Watts, the activist profiled with Bloomberg for the New York Times report on the effort, who tells Reuters, “I think the NRA should be very afraid”?Oh.

Cruz and the Anarchist Puppeteer

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

The senator from Texas and the anarchist busker from New York City have a lot more in common than you might expect.

What would you rather watch: A speech by Ted Cruz or a performance by an anarchist puppeteer?This week, you could’ve seen both as the pair were in the news. Kalan Sherrard, the puppeteer, for being arrested by the NYPD while performing his nihilist-anarchist puppet show in the Times Square subway station. And Cruz, for a Politico story about how his campaign fundraising skyrocketed during last fall’s U.S. government shutdown that he was instrumental in causing.

Russian Spy Planes in U.S. Skies

Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Russian surveillance planes already fly over America, thanks to a long-standing treaty. But a new, ultra-sophisticated spy plane has U.S. military and intelligence bosses spooked.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military and American intelligence agencies have quietly pushed the White House in recent weeks to deny a new Russian surveillance plane the right to fly over U.S. territory. This week, the White House finally began consideration of the decision whether to certify the new Russian aircraft under the so-called “Open Skies Treaty.” And now the question becomes: Will the spies and generals get their way?As the United States and Russia face off publicly over Ukraine, behind the scenes, President Obama’s national security cabinet is having its own quiet feud over a long-standing agreement to allow Russian surveillance flights over U.

Re-Entry

Christie: Pro-Life for Prisoners

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

At a bipartisan event in Jersey City, the governor tried claim his share of Republican leadership on what the GOP hopes will be a defining conservative issue come 2016.

Riding high on word that according to a Fox News poll he is leading the 2016 Republican field, embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrived in Jersey City Thursday to deliver a message to the GOP about prison reform: “You need to be pro-life after they get out of the womb.”Christie, sitting opposite former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, used the event to combine his pro-life views with his progressive stance on incarceration, which mirror those of prominent conservatives across the country.

'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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More in Politics

The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP

The Fringe Faith Duping The GOP

It’s a tiny religion featuring fembots, creationists, and a leader who says his ‘Holocaust Deception’ book was a mistake. Why are so many in the GOP appearing on its TV network?

Forebearance

Rand Paul and the Welfare Rancher

Complex History

Can HRC Count on Women This Time?

Do Something

Millennials and the American City

Legal Authority

Go It Alone, Obama, for Democracy

Web

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