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Monday, January 20, 2014

Stories to Watch: 1/20/14

The conservative love for Dr. Martin Luther King jr. is a new-found phenomenon. In fact, if he were alive today, it's pretty clear that talk radio blowhards would deride him as just another "race hustler," which is Republican for "people who bring up conservative racism." But of course, you notice how they ignore nearly everything King stood for in order to misunderstand one sentence about the content of people's character. The reason is simple: King is so incredibly popular today that smearing him would be political suicide and Republicans simply can't praise a self-proclaimed Socialist who stood with workers, immigrants, and people in poverty, while standing against inequality, voter suppression, and war. So they invent a fake King they can praise and pretend he actually existed. It's a whitewash and it's just as racist and dismissive as arguing that MLK just another whiner with a pack of race cards.

Related: under heavy criticism for raffling off an assault rifle to "honor" gun-victims Marting Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, the Multnomah County Republican Party of Oregon tries to shrug it all off by saying that Obama's going to grab all your guns and make you use Obamacare and that's just like slavery, so it's cool. No, really.

Also related: I cordially invite Sarah Palin to go screw herself.

Bad news as we struggle through the cold and flu season: "We've never had good evidence that [over the counter] cough suppressants and expectorants help with cough," says Norman Edelman, MD, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association. "But people are desperate to get some relief. They're so convinced that they should work that they buy them anyway." Bottom line: if they work for you, knock yourself out. If they don't seem to help, don't waste your money.

The Syrian regime is beginning to crack

Looks like the same could be could be said of Chris Christie. Things are definitely not going to Garden State Governor's way.

A Florida Second Amendment Hero saves America from his own road-ragin' leg.

Today in laws that would never stand up to court scrutiny in a million years: an Arizona Republican readies a bill that effectively "would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people, unmarried women or even non-Christians" -- because oppressing people is freedom!

Finally, I hope you're not getting used to Wisconsin Senator, Tea Party darling, and general dope Ron Johnson. New polling shows that not many at home know all that much about him, but the more Wisconsin voters learn, the further his approvals drop. With a mere 30.2% approval rating, he's easily the least popular big ticket politician in Wisconsin. In fact, compared to polling in other states, Johnson's approvals are in the bottom ten of all senators. Add to this that he's up for reelection in 2016 -- a presidential election and therefore a big turnout year for Democrats -- and Ron might just be going back to being a loudmouth in the private sector, after a mere single term.

[cartoon via Cagle Post]

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