« »

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Stories to Watch: 3/7/13

John Boehner tries to put a happy face on being left out of the loop in budget negotiations, calling Senate Republicans meeting with the President to discuss fiscal policy without him a "hopeful sign." If this pans out, the power of the House Republican Nutjob Caucus -- and with it, his own power as Speaker -- will be greatly diminished. He can't actually be happy at all.

North Korea threatens a preemptive nuclear strike, which -- given the state of their missile program -- is a ridiculously absurd threat. All it earns them is a fresh round of stricter sanctions that have even China's backing. The PDRK seems completely friendless in the world now. "These sanctions will bite and bite hard," says US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice.

Rand Paul's drone filibuster has opened up a new front in the GOP civil war, with the old guard security hawks attacking the Paulista Tea Party conspiracy theorists.

Related and freakin' hilarious: grandstanding Tea Party demagogue Ted Cruz sees an opportunity in the Paul filibuster and takes it. After Rand riled up the base, Cruz joined with Sen. Paul to introduce a bill to "prohibit drone killings of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they do not represent an imminent threat." The problem: Eric Holder wrote Rand Paul today, informing him that under current law, drones cannot be used against Americans "not engaged in combat on American soil." Since "imminent threat" is a lot more open to interpretation than the pretty darned specific "engaged in combat," the Cruz-Paul bill would actually make it easier for the president to launch drone strikes on Americans. Political posturing fail.

Democratic Senator Carl Levin says he won't seek reelection in 2014. There's probably not too much drama coming with this, as Michigan seems to have a pretty hard time electing Republican Senators. Levin's endorsement of the primary winner and that winner's promise to continue in his predecessor's footsteps will probably be enough to keep the seat in Democratic hands. It's not a lock, but it's a decent bet.

Mississippi has a new sex ed bill and it is really, really stupid. What is it about conservatives that makes them think "education" and "ignorance" are synonyms?

Greg Sargent uses Nancy Pelosi's call for a minimum wage increase to point out that Republicans don't actually seem to be for anything anymore. They're just against things.

Is the effort to pass universal background checks for gun purchasers in trouble? The measure is insanely popular with voters of all stripes, but a lot of congress critters seem to have piles of the blood lobby's cash in between them and their constituents' wishes.

Finally, forcing women to submit to unnecessary ultrasounds does absolutely nothing to change a woman's mind about abortion. But that's not really the point. The point is to abuse the power of government to punish women for using their rights and make them jump through hoops. The next time an anti-choicer tells you they're for "small government," "fewer regulations," and that they oppose Obamacare because they don't want "government to get between you and your doctor," go ahead and feel free to laugh at them for an hour or two. It's a damned, dirty, hypocritical lie.

[photo via AP]

Search Archive:

Custom Search