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Friday, May 31, 2013

Stories to Watch: 5/31/13

As always, hover your cursor over the links to see the headlines as a tooltip. And as long as I'm posting reminders, the majority of these stories come from the Progressive News Must-Read Superfeed [rss].

Before she announced that she wouldn't run for reelection, Michele Bachmann paid out a $8,000 fine to the FEC for financial disclosure violations. This was a penalty she agreed to -- which also included agreeing to "send a representative to an upcoming FEC training, develop a compliance manual within three months, and have an external compliance firm review reports for the next two years." In short, it was an admission of guilt. A few weeks later, she was done.

After would-be Bachmann opponent Jim Graves also dropped out of the running, Minnesota Democrats were left looking for a candidate. Minnesota Public Radio's Bob Collins has a good piece on the Graves' announcement -- and the people he's undoubtedly disappointed.

Wonkette takes a look at the people Republicans may run instead of Bachmann and they all seem sufficiently nutty.

There's a Battle of the Sexes going on over at Fox News. The men are sexist and the women don't like it. Erick Erick decides the smart thing to do is crank up the piggishness and just make everything a hundred times worse. You can tell he wants to be the next Andrew Breitbart, but he can't seem to pull off the unhinged rage-aholic act -- so he just comes across as a classless boob.

Progressives and backers of real comprehensive immigration reform worry that the Gang of Eight is giving too much away in order to get a 70-vote superduper-majority. The idea with the 70-vote goal is to cow House Republicans and create momentum. Like House Republicans give a crap about anything other than their own (lunatic) opinions.

John McCain -- who always has a hardon for war -- visited Syria in an attempt to embarrass Pres. Obama into becoming more deeply involved in that conflict. That hasn't gone so well, since McCain was himself embarrassed by getting caught posing for a photo with an ethnic sectarian terrorist. "We can help the right people," McCain said of the conflict, then got caught posing for a photo with the wrong person -- all of which points to the difficulty of separating the good guys from the bad guys in this. "This should give everyone pause when it comes to ramping up support for the rebels by arming them." says Jon Soltz of If we start arming rebels, those arms could help spur ethnic cleansing. McCain's office said he had no idea these people were anti-Shiite sectarian kidnappers, which is really the whole problem in the first place.

Here's a real shocker: rightwing media is running wild with a completely bullshit story about the former IRS commissioner and White House visitor logs.

After voters decriminalized marijuana, police in Washington state are having to retrain police dogs to ignore pot.

If a Wisconsin Republican tells you they're against big, intrusive government, go ahead and laugh in their face -- for hours.

Oprah uses her Harvard commencement speech to push for stronger background checks. A sense of foreboding was no doubt felt at NRA HQ.

Finally, the Illinois House adjourns without passing marriage equality legislation. The heartbreaking part: when the bill's sponsor Rep. Greg Harris said the vote would have to wait until Novemeber, the "short speech was interrupted by shouts of protest from same-sex couples who came to Springfield in hopes of witnessing history." Apparently, some who said they supported the bill suddenly wanted to delay it, leaving Harris and many Illinois couples high and dry.

[cartoon via USA Today]

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