Compared to other MSNBC personalities, Luke Russert is usually rather restrained when it comes to his biases. But on Wednesday’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, the son of the late Tim Russert could not hold back the condescension in his interview with Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council. [Video below. MP3 audio here.] Perkins gave an eloquent defense of traditional marriage, but Russert wasn’t having any of it. In his mind, as in many liberal minds, opposition to same-sex marriage must surely stem from fear. So Russert prodded Perkins:
Government subsidies of gasoline, electricity and other energy sources amount to about $1.9 trillion a year and should be ended or offset with taxes used to battle climate change and pay for social programs, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday in a major foray into the global warming debate. From top energy users such as the United States and China to the poorest of the poor, the fund said countries should be more aggressive in developing energy tax and pricing policies that reflect the true cost of fossil fuel use, including such “externalities” as pollution and the steps needed
Stocks closed out the first quarter on a high note with the Dow logging its strongest quarter in 15 years and the S&P 500 piercing through levels last seen in 2007 to end at a record high near 1,570. The S&P finally surpassed its closing high level of 1,565.15 shortly after the market open after flirting with the milestone for weeks, recovering all its losses from the financial crisis.
President Obama moved Thursday to put the muscle of the White House and his network of supporters behind a gun control package tracking toward the Senate floor, calling on voters to pressure Congress into backing it as the proposal runs into resistance on Capitol Hill. The president, in a set of brief remarks from the White House Thursday surrounded by the mothers of shooting victims, raised concern that the shock from the Newtown elementary school shooting could soon fade. "Less than 100 days ago that happened. ... Shame on us if we´ve forgotten,"
North Korea claimed its people were "burning with hatred" for the US after Washington confirmed it had flown B-2 stealth bomber "deterrence" missions over South Korea. The deployment of the stealth bombers was clearly meant to deliver a potent message to Pyongyang about the US commitment to defending South Korea against any aggression as military tensions on the Korean peninsula soar. It came after the North severed its last-remaining military hotline with South Korea on Wednesday and put its rocket units on combat status with a threat to target US bases in the Pacific region.
In an article titled, "Use of Food Stamps Swells Even as Economy Improves," the Wall Street Journal reports that "The financial crisis is over and the recession ended in 2009. But one of the federal government´s biggest social welfare programs, which expanded when the economy convulsed, isn´t shrinking back alongside the recovery." The report continues, "Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, as the modern-day food-stamp benefit is known, has soared 70% since 2008 to a record 47.8 million as of December 2012. Congressional budget analysts think participation will rise again this year and dip only slightly in coming years."
…None other than the legislative haunt of Gov. Andrew “confiscation could be an option” Cuomo and loathsome nanny-state Mayor Bloomberg, of course. George Mason University’s Mercatus Center just released the third edition of their comprehensive “Freedom in the Fifty States” study, ranking “the American states based on how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.” The researchers calculated in factors ranging from the states’ levels of government spending and debt, tax burden, property rights protection, and health insurance freedom all the way to their policies on alcohol, tobacco, gambling, marriage, and firearms.
Now that voters in Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, dope smokers there can light up without the usual paranoid fear that the cops are at the door. The taxman is another matter. Cash-starved legislators are seeing dollar signs in dime bags — with talk that a tax on marijuana could pump hundreds of millions or even billions into budgets still reeling from the recession. “I’ve seen some estimates in the high tens of millions, as much as $100 million for [Colorado],” said Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), who’s pushing a federal legalization in Congress.
A few minutes after the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision upholding President Obama’s health care law last summer, a senior adviser to Mitch McConnell walked into the Senate Republican leader’s office to gauge his reaction. McConnell was clearly disappointed, and for good reason. For many conservatives, the decision was the death knell in a three-year fight to defeat reforms that epitomized everything they thought was wrong with Obama’s governing philosophy. But where some saw finality, McConnell saw opportunity — and still does. Sitting at his desk a stone’s throw from the Senate chamber, McConnell turned to the aide and,
New Jersey is among the most taxed, restricted and regulated states in the country, according to a study published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. And the lack of freedoms isn’t just limited to fireworks and raw milk, the experts say. High taxes and regulations covering most aspects of modern life are why the Garden State ranks 48 out of the 50 states in terms of freedoms, the study found.New Jersey is highly regulated and highly taxed, said Jason Sorens, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Buffalo,
The Daily Caller has learned that Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul is endorsing Sen. Mitch McConnell for re-election in 2014, ending speculation that Paul would back a tea party challenge to the Senate minority leader. “Rand Paul has endorsed McConnell,” Jesse Benton, McConnell’s 2014 campaign manager, told The Daily Caller. Benton, who has worked for both Rand Paul and his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul, is credited by insiders with brokering Paul’s support for McConnell. The move quashes a determined effort by Kentucky Republican Liberty Caucus chairman David Adams, who launched Paul’s Senate bid
Some social conservatives are ready to disown Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts if he votes in favor of same-sex marriage. The conservatives were angered by Roberts’ surprise backing of President Obama’s healthcare law last year, and they don´t want to see a similar surprise in the two marriage cases the court considered this week. “I certainly think his credentials were tarnished with the ObamaCare decision,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “Does he care about his standing with conservatives? I don’t know.”
Though the speculation was that CNN primetime anchor Erin Burnett would be joining Chris Cuomo as co-host of CNN´s new morning show, the struggling cable news outlet announced Thursday that congressional correspondent Kate Boulduan will join Cuomo. Michaela Pereira will serve as the show´s news anchor: "We were floored with excitement when we saw Chris and Kate together on screen, and by adding Michaela to the mix we feel we have something very special," [CNN chief Jeff Zucker] said. "We believe there is an opening to do news in the morning with a fresh, new voice." Sounds AMAZING!
Gun Control advocates have planned a National Day of Action for today, March 28, with 140 events in 29 states. The intent is to put pressure on those Senators who do not support the Senate Democrat´s gun control bill (specifically, universal background checks) heading to the floor when the senate returns from Easter break. Everyone´s favorite nanny, Mayor and America´s Imperial Health Commissioner Bloomberg, is helping the cause. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that is run and financed by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I), began a $12 million TV ad campaign this week targeting
President Obama is issuing a new executive order on Thursday aimed at cracking down on election problems — but specifics are still scarce. Read between the lines of the group’s mission statement, and it seems the group will be overseeing state election laws, to at least some degree. Politico reports Mr. Obama’s order creates a new presidential commission on election body, co-chaired by two lawyers, Bob Bauer and Ben Ginsburg. Mr. Bauer served on the campaign of Mr. Obama in 2012; Mr. Ginsberg, on Mitt Romney’s campaign, Politico says. Mr. Obama first announced the creation of this
NEW YORK — A new cable network aims to entertain millennials with messages of social change, and is employing celebrities from Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Meghan McCain and media partners from Univision to Rolling Stone to help its cause. Pivot, due Aug. 1, will feature a mix of programming aimed at the "new greatest generation," the 85 million or so 15-to-34-year-olds, says Jim Berk, CEO of parent Participant Media, being created from the ashes of Documentary Channel and Halogen TV, two small cable networks that reach 40 million homes. In an apparent first, the channel´s entire lineup
Last week the national Republican Party issued a report on why it lost the 2012 presidential election. The report belongs in the paper shredder. Look at a map of the U.S. and you’ll see why. The Republican Party is already on the way to dominating presidential politics. Red states are on the rise, and blue states are sinking. In politics, demography is destiny. The biggest mistake the GOP could make is to change course and abandon its current policies. It will soon control an electoral college majority. Americans are voting with their feet to
A national study out of Pennsylvania says the median age of single adult homeless people is now 53 — and that without a big push toward getting older indigents into housing and medical care, huge swaths of them will be dying off in the next decade. Social scientists say the median age has been steadily increasing for many years, supporting the “big bang” theory that many of today’s street people hit the gutter back in the 1980s era of recession and slashings of social programs. Life expectancy on the street is about 64, and the new study, led by University
This year´s White House Easter Egg Roll has been turned into a "fat camp" to inflict exercise and the First Lady´s "Let´s Move!" healthy meal plans on kids who want just want to celebrate the season on the South Lawn. An e-mail from the "Let´s Move!" campaign says the Easter Egg Roll has been turned into a "Let´s Move! Social": "We´re excited to announce that our next White House Social will be a Let´s Move! Social here, at the White House. On Monday, April 1st, 2013, the First Family will host the 135th annual White House Easter
Sen. Marco Rubio R-Fla. will reportedly sign the letter from Sens. Mike Lee R-Utah, Rand Paul R-Ky., and Ted Cruz R-Texas to require 60 votes to bring the Senate gun control bill to the Senate floor. “Sens Rubio and Inhofe have signed the Lee-Paul-Cruz letter stating they will object to bringing new gun legislation to the floor,” announced Lee’s press secretary on Twitter earlier this afternoon. Additional Senate Democrats will have to vote for the bill in order for the bill to advance in the Senate.
The National Science Foundation awarded a grant for $876,752 to the University of Iowa to study whether there is any benefit to sex among New Zealand mud snails and whether that explains why any organism has sex. The study, first funded in 2011 and continuing until 2015, will study the New Zealand snails to see if it is better that they reproduce sexually or asexually – the snail can do both – hoping to gain insight on why so many organisms practice sexual reprod
Prisoners on a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay say their jailers are denying them bottled water and forcing them to drink non-potable tap water, as an international Red Cross committee visited on a fact-finding mission. Military guards have kept the camp cold and denied drinkable water to end the prisoners’ hunger strike, according to an emergency motion filed in federal court, the Associated Press reports. “The reality is that these men are slowly withering away and we as a country need to take immediate action,” said human rights lawyer Mari Newman, who was among those who submitted the motion.
President Obama denounced the idea that gun control advocates have lost their opportunity to pass new legislation in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. “Shame on us if we’ve forgotten,” Obama said during a speech at the White House. “I haven’t forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we’ve forgotten . . . We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and make sure that what we said at that time wasn’t just a bunch of platitudes — that we meant it.”
The New Jersey man who won the $338 million Powerball jackpot owes approximately $29,000 in child support. Authorities stopped by Pedro Quezada´s Passaic apartment on Wednesday, one day after the 44-year-old claimed a lump-sum payment worth $221 million, or about $152 million after taxes. No one answered the door. In an email, Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik tells The Record newspaper generally the state Lottery Division would satisfy the judgment before all the winnings are released. Berdnik says Quezada is subject to potential arrest like everyone else until the warrant is satisfied.
Conservatives watching this week’s gay marriage arguments at the Supreme Court are wondering if it will happen again: Unelected justices ignoring the will of legislatures and high-handedly imposing their own wishes on one of society’s most divisive moral issues. In political circles in Washington and elsewhere, a good number of these conservatives will also make a surprising confession: They are strongly rooting for that outcome exactly. In a mostly hidden subtext of the gay marriage debate, a lot of Republicans would be thrilled with the most far-reaching court decision possible.
New York — Government health officials launched the second round of a graphic ad campaign Thursday that is designed to get smokers off tobacco, saying they believe the last effort convinced tens of thousands to quit. The ads feature sad, real-life stories: There is Terrie, a North Carolina woman who lost her voice box. Bill, a diabetic smoker from Michigan who lost his leg. And Aden, a 7-year-old boy from New York, who has asthma attacks from secondhand smoke. (Snip) The CDC campaign cost $48 million and includes TV, radio and online spots as well as print ads and