If Chris Christie, Scott Walker, John Kasich and perhaps Bobby Jindal—orthodox Republican-conservatives all—hope to run for president in 2016, they’ll may have to perform a tricky maneuver: winning the backing of the GOP’s mainstream, big-money donors, including the US Chamber of Commerce, while rallying the electoral support of ultraconservatives who support the floundering Tea Party movement. But it might turn out that the Tea Party isn’t so influential after all.
The Tea Party—the institutional Tea Party, not necessarily the bloc of the GOP electorate which identified with it—continues to have its difficulties, especially in the wake of the 2013 government shutdown. Yesterday, at a conference in Washington, DC, the Tea Party Patriots organization celebrated its fifth anniversary as a force in American politics, but it was decidedly a lackluster event, and even The Washington Times headlined that it is “struggling.”
via In the GOP’s Civil War, the Establishment Is Winning | The Nation.
WASHINGTON — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) announced her decision to veto legislation on Wednesday that would have allowed businesses to legally refuse service to anyone on “religious freedom” grounds, effectively allowing them to discriminate against same-sex couples.
via Jan Brewer Announces Veto Of Arizona Anti-Gay Bill SB 1062.
When Jan Brewer is the most rational member of your state party, you have a real problem.
A new paper by researchers at the International Monetary Fund appears to debunk a tenet of conservative economic ideology — that taxing the rich to give to the poor is bad for the economy.
The paper by IMF researchers Jonathan Ostry, Andrew Berg and Charalambos Tsangarides will be applauded by politicians and economists who regard high levels of income inequality as not only a moral stain on society but also economically unsound.
via Taxing the rich is good for the economy, IMF says – Business – CBC News.
WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to shrink the United States Army to its smallest force since before the World War II buildup and eliminate an entire class of Air Force attack jets in a new spending proposal that officials describe as the first Pentagon budget to aggressively push the military off the war footing adopted after the terror attacks of 2001.
via Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level – NYTimes.com.
Texas U.S. Senate candidate Chris Mapp (R) told the Dallas Morning News that ranchers should be allowed to shoot on sight anyone illegally crossing the border on to their land and referred to such people as “wetbacks.”
Mapp later defended his remarks to the San Antonio Express-News saying that use of the racial slur is as “normal as breathing air in South Texas.”
He also called President Obama a “socialist son of a bitch.”
via Candidate Wants Right to Shoot 'Wetbacks'.
You stay klassy, GOP.
Israel’s “systematic oppression” of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza appears to constitute the “inhuman” and “degrading” practice of “apartheid,” charged a United Nations investigator.
Richard Falk, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, chronicles Israel’s human rights abuses in a searing 22-page report to the U.N. Human Rights Council — his final report after six years in the position. “Through prolonged occupation, with practices and policies which appear to constitute apartheid and segregation, ongoing expansion of settlements, and continual construction of the wall arguably amounting to de facto annexation of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, the denial by Israel of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is evident,” he writes.
Danny Muller, coordinator for Middle East Children’s Alliance, told Common Dreams, “This report further documents the human rights violations committed against Palestinians — violations that happen every day under the US -funded Israeli occupation and apartheid system.”
via UN Official: Israel Guilty of 'Inhuman' and 'Degrading' Apartheid | Common Dreams.
TUCSON, Ariz. — Say a gay couple in Phoenix walks into a bakery to order their wedding cake. The baker refuses to take their order because of his deeply held religious beliefs. Under a measure that passed the Arizona Legislature this week, the baker would have greater protection to invoke religion to shield himself from a discrimination lawsuit.
The bill, approved by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday and the GOP-led House on Thursday, would bolster a business owner’s right to refuse service to gays and others if the owner believes doing so violates the practice and observance of his or her religion.
The state Senate passed it on a straight party-line vote, 17 to 13. The House followed suit, 33 to 27, with two Republicans joining all the Democrats in opposition.
GOP Governor Jan Brewer’s office said she would not take a position until she’d had a chance to review the measure.
via Gay Rights Activists In Uproar Over Arizona 'Religious Freedom' Bill | The National Memo.
What does she want to do with this clout? “My legislative priorities will definitively be the Constitution,” she says, somewhat confusingly. “That’s what I’ve been on Fox News for the last five years for, and I’ll fight for it every way I can.”
via The Tea Party is weak in Texas: Katrina Pierson is the best the grassroots conservatives can do..
Franton, Kansas – Proposed Jim Crow laws for gay people are already taking effect in Kansas. 38-year-old Johnny Quinns-Smith wanted to get an egg-salad sandwich for himself and his fiance, Erique Boltzman. He went to his local diner outside Franton, near Scranton, a place where he and Boltzman had occasionally ate over the past 6 years. In fact, it was at this diner that the two met during a lunch hour.
But today, Quinss-Smith encountered something he thought he would never see in his lifetime: a sign. A sign that said, “Service Refused To Gay Couples.”
“I was in absolute shock, I mean, I could not even fathom what was going on,” he said. When he went into the restaurant, all went silent. The locals looked at him, with several pointing and whispering. Wiping out a cup, a server behind the restaurant’s main ordering station stared at him and then looked over at one of the newest signs next to the cash register.
“I looked at where several people’s eyes were tracking. Then there it was, it was a sign that said ‘No Gay Eating Here’.”
via Kansas Restaurant Kicks Gay Man Out, Tells Him "No Gay Eating Here" – Topekas News.