Friday ReadsPosted: January 31, 2014
There are some strange things afoot! Harry Waxman may retire and Sandra Fluke may run for his seat!
Sandra Fluke, who became an instant celebrity when she was denied the opportunity to testify at a hearing on Obamacare’s contraception requirements, is “strongly considering” a bid for Rep. Henry Waxman’s congressional seat, according to KPCC, a Southern California radio station.
“I’m flattered that I’m being discussed as a potential candidate,” she told the station. “A number of folks I respect very deeply have reached out today and encouraged me to run. I am strongly considering running.”
If you step back from 2014, and look ahead to the next few election cycles—including 2016—it’s easy to see that this is the right choice. For Senate Democrats, this year’s map—where they’re defending seats in red states like North Carolina, Arkansas, and Louisiana—is their toughest in recent memory. If economic conditions worsen, or if turnout drops substantially, the party could easily lose its control of the Senate, all but ending the potential for Democratic action on domestic policy.
This makes holding the Senate a huge priority—it’s a necessary step if Democrats want to finish Obama’s presidency with success and accomplishment. What’s more, it’ll pay dividends in the next election cycle; if this year’s is a bad map for Democrats, then 2016’s is just as bad for Republicans, who will have to defend blue state Republicans during a presidential election year, where turnout is high and the electorate is more diverse.
In other words, if Democrats can keep the Senate for two more years, then—for the first time since 2008—they’re suddenly in striking distance of a filibuster-proof majority, with the potential for pick-ups in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and—most optimistically—Georgia.
The RNC is going to boycott MSNBC. ROFLMAO.
In the aftermath of a Twitter firestorm, the Republican National Committee is shunning MSNBC.
RNC chairman Reince Priebus said in a memo Thursday that he’s demanding an apology from MSNBC president Phil Griffin after a tweet from the liberal cable news channel’s accountgenerated a furor among conservatives.
The since-deleted tweet referred to a Super Bowl ad from Cheerios that portrays a biracial family.
“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” the tweet read.
MSNBC later apologized.
“Until [Griffin] takes internal corrective action and personally apologizes—not just to the RNC but to all right-of-center Americans—I’m banning all RNC staff from appearing on, associating with, or booking any RNC surrogates on MSNBC,” Priebus said in the memo.
This is the ad that freaked out the right wing. It’s a really cute ad with a black father and white mother. I’ve seen the ad even though I never connected it with the Superbowl.
Cheerios’ interracial family is returning on one of television’s biggest stages.
The cereal’s first-ever Super Bowl ad brings back the household that drew both praise and prejudice last spring for depicting a black father, white mother and their biracial daughter, Gracie. In the new spot, dad uses Cheerios to explain to Gracie that a new baby is on the way. The conversation takes a very charming turn, but you’ll have to watch (above) to find out what happens.
“The big game provided another opportunity to tell another story about family love,” Cheerios representative Camille Gibson told The New York Times.
Despite the negative feedback, the ad may have inspired others to take a more inclusive stance in their commercials. Dusting product Swiffer, for example, recentlydebuted a spot featuring the Rukavinas, a real mixed-race family. The husband in the ad says he’s better at cleaning the house, but he admits the chore has become more difficult since losing his arm.
So, here’s a good headline from the Daily Beast: Why Antics by Several Republicans Suggest the Party Needs Therapy,
Before I reveal the doctor’s diagnosis, let’s take a quick look at just some of the recent antics by several Republican elected officials.
On Tuesday, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) threatened to injure, and arguably even kill, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, who asked a question about a federal investigation into Grimm’s 2010 campaign. In response to this question, Grimm stormed out of the interview. Moments later, he returned and angrily told the reporter, “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this fucking balcony.” Keep in mind that Grimm is a former Marine and an ex-FBI agent, so his threats must be taken seriously. (Of course, this type of behavior may make Grimm a good match for VP with Chris Christie in 2016.)
If you are Republican and you want to save your party, you may actually need to stage a massive intervention at the next RNC convention.
The day before, Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) resignedfrom Congress after his recent guilty plea to cocaine possession. Radel, who has sought counseling, had been arrested for buying drugs from an undercover DEA agent.
Of course, we can’t forget Gov. Christie and Bridgegate, which also implicates numerous New Jersey Republicans. And, as I wrote this week, we have seen a gaggle of random self-destructive comments by GOP officials since December, from Mike Huckabee’s remarks about women’s libidos to Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) advocating discrimination against gay Americans.
So what did Dr. Foehl conclude? Well, he noted that “the Republicans have a masochistic relationship with the media,” and they keep repeating the very “thing that brings them pain.” From a clinical point of view, Dr. Foehl opined, this behavior would be labeled as a “self-defeating personality disorder.”
Why do so many Republicans do this, you ask? Dr. Foehl explained that certain people thrive on “negative attention,” adding that “they have learned that the way to connect to other people is through their suffering, through doing just the thing that will bring them ridicule or pain.” (Sounds like Doc just described Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert, and Michele Bachmann.)
Is there any hope for the Republicans? Well, Dr. Foehl offered a guarded prognosis. He explained that this condition is “very difficult to treat” because many become attached to just the kinds of painful relationships that keep them in trouble.” He concluded ominously: “In short, they are help-rejecting.”
The weirdness continues: Anti-Choice Groups Launch National Boycott Of Girl Scout Cookies For ‘Endorsing’ Wendy Davis
Toward the end of December, Girl Scout USA’s official Twitter account tweeted out a Huffington Post story about the inspiring individuals who should be considered to be 2013′s “women of the year.” The article included figures like Beyonce, Malala Yousafzai, and Wendy Davis — and the organization asked its followers who else should be added to the list of “incredible ladies.” That was enough for anti-choice activists to call for a national boycott of the organization’s popular cookies, claiming the Girl Scouts have endorsed “pro-abortion politician Wendy Davis.”
“We’re asking you to boycott Girl Scout cookies in 2014,” reads a new site dedicated to the boycott, explaining that Davis should not be lifted up as a “worthy role model for our children.” The same accusation is being leveled against the group in regards to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who was included in a different news article about influential U.S. women that the Girl Scouts shared on its Facebook page.
The controversy has been building for several weeks. At the beginning of this month, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted a panel discussion about the organization’s tweet. Panelists suggested that sharing any material related to Davis violates the Girl Scouts’ policy to remain uninvolved in politics.
I’m personally leading a social media campaign for every one to buy as many cookies as possible from Girl Scouts. I should disclose that I have been a Girl Scout, a Girl Scout Leader, and the mother of Girl Scouts for some time.
So, here’s something really frightening.
In the latest setback for the troubled nuclear mission, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said she returned from a visit to missile bases believing the cheating was part of a broader morale problem among launch officers.
“As the investigation has moved forward, we can now report there is a total of 92 crew members that have been identified as having some level of involvement,” James told a news conference.
“That means either participating in the cheating or knowing something about it and not standing up and reporting it,” she said.
Two weeks ago, officials said 34 officers were implicated at Malmstrom Air Force base in Montana.
The latest tally of 92 launch officers ensnared by the scandal represents about half of the total 190-member officer corps of the Montana base, and nearly 20 percent of the roughly 500 officers who run the missile force.
The mounting scandal, as well as other embarrassing incidents, have prompted commanders to put a hold on any promotions of senior officers in the nuclear mission, a defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.
“They’re reviewing all of those (proposed promotions),” the official said.
While acknowledging serious questions about the working climate and leadership of the nuclear force, James reiterated the Pentagon’s stance that the destructive weapons were in safe, competent hands.
“Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” was released 50 years ago this week. The film is regarded as a cinematic masterpiece today (AFI ranked it No. 39 in its 10th anniversary Top 100 in 2007), but in February 1964, Times film editor Philip K. Scheuer didn’t find much to like. I’m partial to the deadpan of the subheadline: “Kubrick’s ‘Satire’ Tells All About End of World, Ha Ha.” But this is a great line too:”… a publicist at Columbia, which is distributing the picture, assured me it would be my ‘cup of tea.’ After suffering through two screenings of ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ I would sooner drink hemlock.”Scheuer issues no spoiler alerts while giving away the ending and laments that “[a]ll members of our armed forces are pictured as either utterly unscrupulous or just plain stupid.”
And then he makes a point that is rather jarring to a reader in today’s era of the antihero.
I have to admit to being completely exhausted this week. So, I will rely on you to share your reading and blogging list today!!