Friday, May 31, 2013

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Latest Fox Benghazi Conspiracy Crumbles

ANDREW LAWRENCE/Media Matters For America:

Fox News is attempting to revive the manufactured Benghazi scandal by highlighting a new report that U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was labeled a "John Doe" when checked into a Libyan hospital following the September 11, 2012, attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi. While some on the right have described hiding Stevens' identity as "simple" and "common sense," Fox News claims that the decision is further proof of a Benghazi cover-up.
On the May 31 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, co-host Martha MacCallum hosted former CIA covert operations officer and President of Diligence LLC Mike Baker to discuss this latest revelation from the attacks. Baker recognized the decision to label Stevens as "John Doe" as the right move while simultaneously using the new information to indict the Obama administration over Benghazi. Although Baker views the decision to use a pseudonym as necessary, he cites it as an example of the Obama administration hiding details about the attack, saying: "The problem here is that we're getting these details over 8 months after the attacks, and the administration continues to not stand up and say 'look, this is what took place, these are the details we have.'"
On May 30, CBS News' Sheryl Attkisson -- whose reporting on Benghazi has garnered praise from a host of Fox News personalities as well as rumors that she will be leaving CBS for Fox News in the future -- broke the story that U.S. officials instructed Benghazi Medical Center to use a "John Doe" pseudonym on the death certificate of Ambassador Christopher Stevens after he was killed during the attack. Attkisson reported:
A familiar local to whom Americans refer as "Babakar" sent word to the U.S. embassy that Stevens had, indeed, passed away. Babakar sent some of his associates to recover Stevens' body at the hospital. When hospital officials asked what name should be entered on the death certificate, U.S. officials relayed the message to use "John Doe." Babakar's associates eventually transported Stevens' body to the airport where it was turned over to Americans.
But Stevens' identity was concealed to protect the body of the slain ambassador. As Salon's Alex Seitz-Waldwrote:
Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 State Department officer in Libya, testified that the hospital Stevens was taken to was "controlled by Ansar Sharia," the very same jihadi group that had launched the attack on the diplomatic post.
Ansar Sharia -- or, for that matter, any other group that wanted to embarrass or even extract a ransom from the U.S. -- would probably have been thrilled to find the ambassador's body lying in their hospital. So it makes perfect sense that U.S. officials would try to conceal Stevens' identity as much as possible.
Fox's focus on the John Doe revelation marks the latest in a long line of manufactured Benghaziconspiracies being pushed on the network, none of which hold up under scrutiny. In a PBS interview with Charlie Rose, Politico's Mike Allen explained that Republicans' ongoing obsession with Benghazi is an attempt to tarnish Hillary Clinton's potential presidential bid in 2016:
ALLEN: Privately, Republicans say that Benghazi probably wouldn't be an issue if it weren't for Hillary Clinton. Unlike the IRS -
ROSE: If this wasn't for her in 2016, this wouldn't be an issue?
ALLEN: Yeah, because it's something that people don't understand. Even the White House will tell you it's never going to be resolved to anyone's satisfaction, but there is going to be a real effort to make it last.
And when we're talking about these three controversies, we should remember, world event history tells us that world events can change everything. Somebody pointed out to me that if the Boston marathon happened next week, this would all look different.
ROSE: Right.

Scandal-obsessed GOP ignores economic recovery

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Federal authorities investigate Marines for Facebook threats against President Obama and the congresswoman who exposed online harassment of servicewomen


Federal law enforcement officials are investigating a former Marine and several active-duty Marines after they allegedly posted threatening and lewd remarks online against President Obama and California Rep. Jackie Speier.
The threats were made on one of many Facebook pages that have targeted Speier, a Democrat, since she alerted the Defense Department to an online forum where Marines were posting degrading images of female service members.
The page that prompted the investigation, titled 'F*** You Jackie Speier,' has since been removed by Facebook, but another - called 'Jackie struggle snuggle Speier' has gone up in its place with similar content, including a photograph of Speier that has been edited to look as though she has a black eye with the caption, 'She burned the bacon only once.'
A Facebook page is targeting Rep. Jackie Speier with lewd remarks and images after the Democratic congresswoman alerted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to inappropriate activity by Marines online
Threats: Several Facebook pages, including this one, have been targeting Rep. Jackie Speier since the Democratic congresswoman alerted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to inappropriate activity by Marines online
Speier told KCBS that she refereed the original page to authorities after users 'made threatening claims to both the president and me.'
Both the Secret Service and U.S. Capitol Police are involved in the investigation, according to USA Today
Speier was targeted online after she wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel regarding the Facebook page 'F'N Wook,' on which several active duty and former Marines had posted sexually degrading comments and explicit pictures of female service members. 
In one photo from that page, which has been removed, a female Marine is pictured putting a male Marine into a choke hold. The caption reads: 'This is my rape face.'
Another photo shows a female soldier lying on the ground with a gun and the caption reads: 'Hehe... I can "bang" even when I am not on my back!'
Several Marines have since been referred to their commanders for punishment as a result of that page and other inappropriate activity online.
Enlarge Outrage: This is a copy of part of Rep. Jackie Speier's letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concerning a Facebook page called 'F'N Wook'
Outrage: This is a copy of part of Rep. Jackie Speier's letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concerning a Facebook page called 'F'N Wook'
In retaliation against Speier's letter to Hagel, several pages have popped up on Facebook targeting the congresswoman. The page that was referred to authorities for investigation was removed by Facebook over the weekend and its replacement went live on May 24. So far it has 44 'likes.'
'Welcome back my hateful friends,' Facebook user Chris LaCorte, who claims to be a former Marine, wrote on the page. 'What women's group do you think will declare a jihad on us first this time?'
Rep. Jackie Speier expressed outrage over the website in a letter sent to the Pentagon
Rep. Jackie Speier expressed outrage over the website in a letter sent to the Pentagon
The content includes pictures of Speier and former Defense Secretary Hillary Clinton with lewd captions and comments suggesting that women enjoy rape.
'If you get pregnant from a rape than it means you enjoyed it,' reads one remark, which was 'liked' by a user claiming to be a former Marine. 
Another post reads: 'I raped pregnant woman once. Best threesome ever.'
The moderator of the page acknowledged the federal investigation in a comment posted to the page late Monday. 
'None of the posts or pictures on this page should be suggested that we are threatening to harm another person, including Jackie Speier or Obama,' the moderator wrote. 'This page should be looked at as harsh humor and we will work with authorities on any questions they may ask.'
The message adds: 'This page is meant to distract Jackie and all liberals who hate freedom of speech. Other military pages were taken down for an agenda.'
Marine activity on Facebook has come under fire as the military faces increased scrutiny for increases in sexual assaults within the ranks. 
As many as 26,000 military members have reported that they were sexually assaulted last year, which is up from 19,000 reported assaults in 2011.
Taken down: 'F'N Wook,' has been removed since Rep. Jackie Speier sent this letter
Taken down: 'F'N Wook' was removed by Facebook after Speier sent the letter
Other pages: Speier said a number of similar pages also exist, including 'U Suckers Missed Christmas - USMC,' 'POG Boot F**ks,' and 'Just the Tip, of the Spear
Response: Following Speier's letter, the Marine Corps warned its members to 'avoid inappropriate behavior' online

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Right Wing ‘Daily Caller’ Posts Racist Tweet, Then Quickly Deletes It

/Americans Against the Tea Party
According to a report from White House reporters, there is an aspiring rapper who calls himself “Rhymes Priebus” somewhere in Chicago. The name is a play on the name of Republican National Committee Chairman, Reince Priebus. The White House reporters were driven around by the 26-year-old rapper as part of President Obama’s motorcade on a trip to the Windy City today.
The conservative website Daily Caller did a write-up on the story, but it’s a promotional tweet that’s getting the site some unwanted attention, rather than the story itself.
aattp daily caller
Click on image to enlarge
The tweet was quickly deleted, but not before it was screen-captured and posted on Twittersoon after.
The acronym “HNIC” is internet slang for “head n*gger in charge,” according to the Urban Dictionary.

‘Daily Caller’ story on IRS director’s many White House visits a bust

By David Ferguson/Raw Story
The Daily Caller story that kicked off the latest round of finger-pointing and blame in the IRS “scandal” currently gripping the right blogosphere and Fox News was actually based on erroneous information. According to the Atlantic, the editorial staff at the Caller overestimated the number of visits by now-former IRS director Douglas Shulman by 146, claiming that Shulman visited the Obama White House 157 times rather than the 11 visits he is confirmed to have actually made.
The Daily Caller eagerly reported on Wednesday that Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee, visited President Barack Obama’s White House “at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet.”
The Tucker Carlson-run conservative website failed to make the distinction between the actual White House and the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is covered by the Secret Service’s visitors’ log. Shulman was required to meet with administration officials about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” in the Eisenhower Building. The Secret Service log also covers the New Executive Building, which is located up 17th Street and off the White House grounds.
According to the Atlantic:
Shulman was cleared primarily to meet with administration staffers involved in implementation of the health-care reform bill. He was cleared 40 times to meet with Obama’s director of the Office of Health Reform, and a further 80 times for the biweekly health reform deputies meetings and others set up by aides involved with the health-care law implementation efforts. That’s 76 percent of his planned White House visits just there, before you even add in all the meetings with Office of Management and Budget personnel also involved in health reform.
Furthermore, there’s no proof that Shulman did or did not attend the meetings, since there are no arrival or departure times listed. He may have been scheduled to pass through the Secret Service checkpoints, but this has little bearing on whether he did. Shulman’s time of arrival is only confirmed for 11 specific events between 2009 and 2012.
“That does not mean that he did not go to other meetings,” wrote the Atlantic‘s Garance Franke-Ruta, “only that the White House records do not show he went to the 157 meetings he was granted Secret Service clearance to attend.”
At least one Shulman visit to the White House grounds had nothing to do with IRS business or the ACA. Virginia Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly asked Shulman in a Congressional hearing last week what would occasion a visit to the White House for him.
“Um, the Easter Egg Roll with my kids,” Shulman replied.
Franke-Ruta wrote that Secret Service logs are a wildly imprecise means of determining the comings and goings of visitors to the White House. The procedure is not the only means of getting clearance to enter the White House security perimeter. In large social gatherings like the aforementioned Easter Egg Roll, people enter the White House gates in pre-cleared carloads.
The Center for Public Integrity reported in April, 2011 that “(t)he logs include names of people cleared by the Secret Service for White House entry who never showed up. The Center analysis found more than 200,000 visits with no time of arrival, an indication the person didn’t enter the White House though there is no way to know for certain.”
Even the Caller admitted at the end of its article that “it is probable that the vast majority of visits by major Cabinet members do not end up in the public record.”

Tea party speaker presents proof Grover Norquist is a secret Muslim: ‘He has a beard’

By David Edwards/Raw Story

A speaker at a tea party event in Texas recently suggested that that anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist was a secret Muslim because “he has a beard.”
In a video posted by the Far North Dallas Tea Party on Thursday, Texas Eagle Forum President and former Chairman of the Texas Republican Party Cathie Adams presented evidence that Norquist was part of a “stealth jihad” in the United States.
Adams said that Norquist, who is married to a Muslim woman, was “trouble with a capital ‘T’” because “he’s showing signs of converting to Islam himself.”
“As you see, he has a beard,” she pointed out. “He’s married a Muslim woman. But he denies that he has converted himself. He denies that.”
“He and Karl Rove are very good friends. I don’t like Karl Rove, and I certainly don’t like Grover Norquist.”
Adams went on to suggest that CIA Director John Brennan could also be a secret Muslim.
“Where is the outcry?” she asked. “Thank God that Ted Cruz is now in the United States Senate!”
Norquist, along with conservative activist Suhail Khan, are often labeled as stealth Muslimsby Islamaphobic conservative activists led by Pamela Geller, Frank Gaffney and Robert Spencer, most recently at at 2013 CPAC panel.
Watch this video from the Far North Dallas Tea Party, uploaded May 30, 2013.

Megyn Kelly Destroys Fox Pundit For Views On Working Moms: ‘What Makes You Dominant And Me Submissive?’

By Rebecca Leber/Think Progress
On her Friday segment, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly tore into conservative commenter Erick Erickson over his comments that it is“natural” for women to stick to raising children while men play the primary breadwinner. Erickson drew fire earlier this week for arguing that women who work are “hurting our children, and it’s going to have impact for generations to come.”
Kelly debunked Erickson’s Red State op-ed, point by point. “I will start with you Erick. What makes you dominant and me submissive and who died and makes you scientist-in-chief?” Comparing Erickson to the people who used pseudo-science to argue against interracial marriage a half-century ago, Kelly asked, “Why are we supposed to take your word for it, Erick Erickson’s science, instead of all these experts?”:
KELLY: In this country in the ’50s and ’60s there were huge numbers of people that believed that the children of interracial marriages were biologically inferior and that is why it was illegal for blacks and whites to marry in some states in the country up until 1967. And they said it was science and fact if you were the child of a black father and white mother or vice versa you were inferior and not set up for success. Tell that to Barack Obama.
Watch it:

In the same segment, Lou Dobbs mocked Kelly’s accusations, responding “oh dominant one.”

NRA Fundraises On False Claims About U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

By Hayes Brown/Think Progress

The National Rifle Association is stoking the misguided fears of its members that the United Nations is coming to steal their guns through an international arms treaty in an attempt to raise funds needed to help block the treaty in the Senate.
In an email sent out on Wednesday to its supporters, the NRA ominously warned about the coming collusion between the United Nations and President Obama in the name of “trampling our Second Amendment freedoms.” The vehicle for this complete destruction of the Constitution? The recently passed United Nations Arms Trade Treaty(ATT), which opens for signature on June 3. Despite the fact that only North Korea, Syria, and Iran voted against the treaty, the right-wing in the United States has long opposed what it sees as a chance for the government to legally steal Americans’ handguns.
The NRA email went to great lengths to solidify this fear in the minds of its supporters, repeatedly referring to the ATT as the “global gun ban treaty,” or variations thereof. “We need to send a clear message to every Senator that they have only two choices: Side with us and stop the U.N. gun ban treaty … or start looking for a new job at election time,” the message tells its readers. Despite the dark tidings, the ATT actually doesn’t affect the Second Amendment, something that even Texas’ extremely conservative attorney general begrudgingly admitted.
Instead, the treaty seeks to limit the sale of arms — including attack helicopters, tanks, and other larger arms, as well as small arms and ammunition for these weapons — to regimes that use them to violate human rights. To achieve this, the treaty requires states set up a system for tracking exports of arms to other countries and reporting those statistics to the United Nations annually. The U.S. government already tracks the sale of weapons overseas, meaning very little will change in practice for American citizens.
Undaunted by facts and unable to kill the treaty before it passed at the United Nations, despite its best efforts, the NRA now is attempting to shut down its passage in the Senate. As with all treaties, a two-thirds majority is required to ratify the ATT. “Your signed petition is the best tool we have against this attack on our gun rights and our national sovereignty,” the message declares, urging people to sign on to help “line the halls of the Senate with boxes and boxes of these petitions.”
The NRA is asking for “emergency contributions” from petition-signers. “This year, we’ve been forced to spend more than we’ve ever spent … because the attacks we’re facing have been bigger than anything we’ve ever faced before,” the email pleads, seeming to use the time-tested tactic of exploiting fear to raise money.
Unfortunately, the NRA’s messaging already seems to have permeated Washington, with prominent conservatives such as John Yoo and John Bolton penning op-eds unfairly condemning the treaty’s provisions. Senate Republicans are already lining up to condemn the treaty based on the same false pretenses as the NRA. Some members of the GOP are even warning that the treaty will lead to a Rwanda-like genocide. In spite of this opposition, the Obama administration has already made clear that it does intend to sign the treaty once it opens for signature.

Thanks To Obamacare, Young Adults And Hospitals Saved $147 Million In 2011 Alone

By Sy Mukherjee/Think Progress
An estimated 3.1 million young Americans who would have lacked health coverage gained access to it thanks to an Obamacare provision that allows adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance. A newstudy published in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that shift saved young people from paying — and hospitals from absorbing — $147 million in high medical bills for treating catastrophic conditions such as broken bones, poisonings, and traumatic brain injuries in 2011 alone.
Without the health law’s protections, uninsured young Americans would have been forced to foot the bill for these urgent care visits. “Some of those costs would have been born by individuals,” said Andrew Mulcahy, one of the study’s authors. “Some of those costs would have been ultimately been born by hospitals as uncompensated care.”
If those young people had been forced to rely on catastrophic emergency room care, they could have been at risk for financial ruin. The average ER trip costs 40 percent more than what most Americans spend on monthly rent, with the price of serious injury treatments ranging anywhere from $1,000 to $3,600 depending on the hospital. Just one serious medical conditioncan bankrupt Americans.
But the other option — forgoing care altogether — could be even worse, since that doesn’t help people get any better. Untreated medical issues can lead to lost productivity and could end up getting young adults fired from their jobs, or prevent them from finding one that offers health coverage. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that serious injuries contribute to more than $465 billion in medical spending and lost productivity every year.
Obamacare has eliminated those scenarios for millions of young Americans by giving them access to health coverage. Marian Mulkey, an official with the non-partisan California HealthCare Foundation, heralded the study’s findings as a solid victory for consumers. “That’s exactly what the law intended,” said Mulkey.
There’s been a slew of good news for Obamacare recently. Insurers’ opening bids for Obamacare’s insurance marketplaces have been encouraging, and employers have beenstepping up workplace wellness programs for their workers in response to federal incentives in the health law.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Adam Kokesh Calls Off Armed March On D.C. In Favor Of 50 State March For "Orderly Dissolution Of The Federal Government"

TIMOTHY JOHNSON/Media Matters For America:

Adam Kokesh is cancelling his planned July 4 armed march on Washington, D.C., and instead calling for a march on all 50 state capitols with the goal of overthrowing the federal government.
Kokesh, a former host for Russian state-sponsored RT television who now hosts an internet radio showtold conspiracy theorist radio host Pete Santilli that it was time to "escalate our tactics" before cancelling the Washington march and urging supporters to march on their state capitol instead.
On May 28, Santilli, a promoter of conspiracy theories about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks who recently drew scrutiny from the Secret Service over vicious comments made about Hillary Clinton, aired an interview where Kokesh read from a press release and provided other details about the expansion of his plans.
Previously, Kokesh launched a Facebook page to organize his armed march on Washington, an event he hoped would draw at least 1,000 attendees. The page currently lists more than 5,000 attendees. 
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Kokesh detailed how he and others planned to march across the Memorial Bridge -- which separates Washington from Virginia -- while openly carrying firearms in violation of District of Columbia law. Kokesh told Buzzfeed that the event would be non-violent and said, "We're not going to resist government by force in any way." The Facebook description of the event stated, "This will be a non-violent event, unless the government chooses to make it violent." District of Columbia Police Chief Cathy Lanier stated that those who bring weapons illegally into Washington would face arrest
In the press release, Kokesh called for "A new American revolution" where "the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property." Kokesh also gave the federal government a one-year deadline to comply with his demands before possibly taking violent action, writing, "Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible."
Describing the change in plans, Kokesh told listeners who planned to openly carry firearms into the nation's capital in defiance of local firearms laws to not come to Washington, D.C., but to instead organize armed marches or other events at state capitols nationwide. He also explained to Santilli that such an "orderly peaceful dissolution" would be a way to avoid a "chaotic collapse" of government and that it is the "last chance to do it the easy way." After Santilli suggested that "we can't wait for a couple of more elections in order to purge the system," Kokesh chastised him for giving credence to the notion that "elections can have a positive impact," adding, "that's clearly not the case anymore."
KOKESH: Please don't come to Washington, D.C., this now an appeal to the state level and I think it's much more appropriate given the gravity of the situation. We shouldn't be begging the federal government to change, we shouldn't be hoping that they respect our rights because it's clear that they don't.
And I can't even, as the organizer of this event, be able to say that I'm going to be there. We can't have this depend on any one person or even any central event.
SANTILLI: There you go.
KOKESH: So now it's a march on all 50 state capitols.  
KOKESH: A lot of people have raised criticism about well, you can't just end the federal government. Well you can't keep it going either. Look at it, it's going to collapse under its own weight. We are an empire in decline and if we don't do something about this now, like an orderly peaceful dissolution, it's going to be a chaotic collapse.
I've always said this as libertarians from our analysis of government when we say, hey you know what, we need to reduce the coercion in society, reduce the tyranny and the force and the fraud that is government. I've always thought when we're saying is, look guys we can do this the easy way or the hard way. And this is sort of like, hey guys, last chance to do it the easy way.
SANTILLI: Tell me if you agree or disagree with this, that we can't wait for a couple of more elections in order to purge the system. That we have a system of government right now that is not --
KOKESH: Were you suggesting -- hold on, hold on, I have to stop and laugh at you for a second if I may --
SANTILLI: Yes, please.
KOKESH: -- were you actually just suggesting that elections can have a positive impact? Or were you suggesting that elections can somehow clean house or clear out? Because I think if anything that's clearly not the case anymore.

Obama fights obstructionism

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Anderson Cooper Goes After Michele Bachmann Over 'Factually Incorrect Statements' (VIDEO)

From Huffington Post
Anderson Cooper went after Rep. Michele Bachmann on Thursday night, for the false claims she has made in Congress.
Bachmann announced on Wednesday that she will not seek re-election in 2014. Cooper, it seemed, will not be sad to see her go.
"In her four terms in the House, Bachmann has certainly been a lightning rod for controversy," the CNN host said. "She's made, as Dana referenced, several memorable and frankly factually incorrect statements about everything from President Obama to the HPV vaccine. On this program, she made a claim about the pricetag on a trip the president was taking that was pure fiction."
Before turning to John King and David Gergen to discuss Bachmann's political legacy, Cooper replayed clips of interviews where he confronted her over some of those claims, as well as Bachmann racing away from Dana Bash's questioning about her claims that Obama has a dogwalker. "That was an amazing interview because she was the one who brought up this whole dogwalker thing and then she turned it on Dana Bash, saying, 'You're bringing up a dogwalker while four Americans died in Benghazi."

Senate Filibuster Reform Backed By Norm Ornstein

 By Michael McAuliff/Huffington Post
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may have just landed an influential ally on the right in his potential new bid to reform the Senate's filibuster: the American Enterprise Institute's Norm Ornstein.
Ornstein, who in the past has opposed the so-called "nuclear option" of changing Senate rules with a simple majority, wrote Thursday in The Atlantic that after watching Republicans subject President Barack Obama to record delays for his judicial and administrative nominees, he was beginning to see things Reid's way.
Ornstein said what put him over the edge was watching Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) declare last week that Obama was trying to "pack" the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals by trying to fill three vacant seats.
"Packing" was the phrase used to describe Franklin Roosevelt's bid to get favorable decisions out of the Supreme Court by expanding the number of justices and naming judges who agreed with him. It infamously failed, and Ornstein said the comparison actually made him laugh.
"I laughed for several reasons. One was wondering whether a senior senator and longtime member of the Judiciary Committee really had no idea what court packing is, or was he reaching for new heights of disingenuousness: How could a move by a president simply to fill long-standing existing vacancies on federal courts be termed court packing?" Ornstein wrote.
Given the historically unprecedented level of GOP obstruction, Ornstein argued that even though he is still uncomfortable with the nuclear option, the time may have come to use it. And Republicans would only have themselves to blame.
The fallout from such a move is unknown but would be substantial and deleterious. It would be far better to return to regular order, and to the use of filibusters as rare events, not routine ones. But if senators who know better -- like Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, and Saxby Chambliss -- jump when McConnell tells them and continue to obstruct nominations, they should expect to reap the whirlwind. And they, and their colleagues, will be the ones responsible for the damage done.
Some Senate insiders have told The Huffington Post that they suspect Reid is only floating a new major reform battle as a tactic to get a few more nominations through. But having a conservative like Ornstein come out on Reid's side could give the majority leader cover if he decides to go further.
"It speaks to the current level of dysfunction that longtime nonpartisan Washington observers like Ornstein are speaking out," said George Kohl, the senior director of the Communications Workers of America, and a member of the Fix the Senate Now coalition that favors filibuster reform. "They know that what we are witnessing is not normal and threatens the basic functioning of the Senate."

Fox Business host: Cut government because ‘no one’ died of starvation before welfare

By David Edwards/Raw Story
Fox Business host John Stossel on Thursday declared that government programs should be cut based on the false assertion that “no one” died of starvation in the Great Depression before the modern “welfare state.”
Stossel told the hosts of Fox & Friends that he had taken his cameras out on the streets of New York and no one he spoke to had any idea about how to fix the nation’s growing national debt.
“You cut whole departments,” the Fox Business host explained. “Why do we have a Commerce Department? Commerce just happens! Agriculture, farmers do that! You don’t need bureaucrats.”
He added that the Department of Education was also unnecessary.
“Isn’t that part of what the government does in a lot of people minds?” Fox News host Steve Doocy asked. “They need to help people rather than let people help themselves?”
“And when people are needy you want them [to get] help,” Stossel agreed. “But think about the [Great] Depression. That was before there was any welfare state at all. How many people starved? No one.”
“Right, good point,” Doocy agreed.
During the Great Depression in 1933, then-President Herbert Hoover (R) had told reporters that “nobody is actually starving… The hoboes, for example, are better fed than they have ever been. One hobo in New York got ten meals in one day.”
But according to historians Steven Mintz and Sara McNeil, the number of cases of starvation in New York City alone had increased from 20 in 1931 to 110 in 1934.
And malnutrition was a much larger problem. One 1933 study of 514 children in New York found that more than one-third were in “poor” or “very poor” health.
Watch this video Fox News’ Fox & Friends , broadcast May 30, 2013.

Fox News host Eric Bolling: Single female breadwinners ‘pushing towards more abortions’

By Eric W. Dolan/Raw Story
Commenting on the rise of “breadwinner moms,” Fox News host Eric Bolling speculated the socioeconomic development would result in more abortions.
“If you read into that study… the reason is exactly what we’ve been talking about right here, the breakdown of the American family,” he said on Fox’s The Five. “The American family is breaking down. Women are forced to go out and be the breadwinners for families and that is why the number is skewed higher now — single moms.”
“Here is another offshoot of that,” Bolling continued. “If you’re a single mom, breadwinner of the family, and you get pregnant aren’t we pushing towards more abortions? It seems like we are.”
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, thePew study found the United States was home to about 13.7 million mothers who were the primary source of income for their households. Roughly, 63 percent of those “breadwinner moms” were single mothers.
Watch video, via Mediaite, below:

North Carolina GOP Wants To Tax The Poor Even More Than It Already Does

By Alan Pyke/Think Progress
North Carolina lawmakers are seeking to shift much of the state’s tax burden off its wealthiest citizens and most profitable businesses and onto its low- and middle-income residents. After initially proposing to eliminatethe state’s income tax outright, Republicans are instead introducing a flat income tax rate across all earning levels. The proposal unveiled Thursday would also expand the reach of sales taxes in the state, which hits low-income families hardest, and comes on top of the March repeal of a tax credit for 900,000 working familiesin the state.
The state’s effective tax rates already favor the rich. The North Carolina Justice Center, a progressive think tank in the state, explains that the richest one percent of tarheels pay 6.5 percent of their income in combined sales and income taxes at the state level, while the lower 80 percent of earners pay between 9 and 10 percent combined. Yet Republicans propose to give that top one percent a tax cut while hiking rates for those already paying more:
NCJC adds that the lost revenue from this plan “could be as high as $573 million” per year. Given that state law requires balanced biannual budgeting, the tax proposal is likely to force major cuts to public services if approved.
If all of this sounds familiar, it should. Supply-side economists have pushed for this sort of regressive tax reform in the name of economic growth for over 30 years, at all levels of American governance. Art Laffer, the chronically misleading godfather of this widely discredited approach to tax policy, helped press for the initial repeal proposal from North Carolina’s conservatives. Laffer’s had a prominent hand in the broad wave of state-level supply-side tax reform proposals since last year, and statehouse Republicans seem prepared to continue believing him even after his research for the American Legislative Exchange Council has been shown to be error-riddled.