QUIZ: How well do you know gay rights?

Gay Rights Quiz

QUIZ: How well do you know gay rights?

Whether you're a supporter or an opponent, history has moved quickly for gay rights in the past four decades. Have you kept up?
First up: When did sodomy become legal nationwide? 1969, 1976, 1989, or 2003?

Take the Quiz

Brown University student falsely identified as Boston bombing suspect found dead in Providence River, Rhode Island authorities confirm


This is a developing story and we expect to have more information soon. Go to NBCNews.com for further developments.

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Sen. Kelly Ayotte, pays a price for her pro NRA vote

It's quite a while until the 2016 elections, naturally, but it's certainly not unheard-of for politicians to pay for their mistakes many years down the line. Could voting against expanded background checks for gun buyers turn out to be just that sort of high-priced error for Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte? The early verdict, certainly, is not good news for her. Public Policy Polling finds that Ayotte's job approval has cratered by 15 net points since they last checked in on her. In October, she sported a decent 48-35 score; now, she's in negative territory at 44-46. 
Of course, there could be many reasons for Ayotte's decline, but her "nay" vote on the Manchin-Toomey amendment to extend background checks to all commercial gun sales is almost definitely the highest-profile action she's taken in the last half a year. And like voters just about everywhere else, New Hampshirites strongly favor increased background checks, by a 75-21 margin. What's more, fully 50 percent say Ayotte's vote make them less likely to vote for her while just 23 percent say they're now more likely to do so.
Ayotte has to hope that ire over this vote fades with time, but it may not—this moment may wind up marking her permanently. And even though the issue won't make the same kind of headlines it has lately for the next three years straight, whoever Ayotte's opponent is in 2016 will be able to bludgeon her badly with her vote against common sense gun safety regulations that enjoy wide support. (In a hypothetical matchup, Gov. Maggie Hassan already holds a 46-44 edge on Ayotte.)
It's conventional wisdom to say that yeah, background checks poll well but the most intense voters are those who oppose them, which is in turn why it supposedly "makes sense" for politicians in red states to vote against them. But I think that view is stale, and I think there's a real anger among many Americans over Congress's failure to act here. A senator's job approvals don't plummet 15 points in the span of a few months unless people are genuinely pissed. And Ayotte doesn't represent a red state. I suppose we'll see in a few years' time, but I think the old calculus has been upended, and I don't think this one is going away.
P.S. Ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords's new group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is already running radio ads criticizing Ayotte for her vote (and Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell as well). The two buys are reportedly for "several hundred thousand dollars."

Sen. Max Baucus Out, Bye Bey Loser

On Tuesday, Sen. Max Baucus surprised the political world by announcing that he would retire at the end of this term rather than seek re-election. (Baucus's decision was first reported by the Washington Post.) Baucus had just racked up another big fundraising quarter and has over $5 million in his federal campaign account, a considerable sum for a state as small as Montana. And Baucus, who's served in the Senate since 1978, seemed to genuinely enjoy being a senator and never publicly signaled that he wanted out.
But he is 71 years old, and the one recent public poll of this race, from PPP, didn't have him looking very strong. Years and years of amassing votes and public statements as a Democrat in a red state often takes its toll, much like it appeared to for Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota, who also decided to call it quits next year. In particular, Baucus's role in drawing out the Affordable Care Act negotiations a few years ago did serious damage to his image back home—a self-inflicted wound that he foolishly reminded voters of just the other day when he predicted that the implementation of the ACA would be a "train wreck."
So if Baucus's own internal polling matched PPP's numbers, it makes more sense that he'd prefer to depart on his own terms rather than risk a difficult re-election effort. Indeed, it's been a very long time since Baucus had been properly tested on the campaign trail. In both 2002 and 2008, Republicans largely gave up on the idea of challenging the once-popular senator, leading to landslide victories. But the last time Baucus faced a legitimate opponent was in 1996—almost two full decades ago. That's a lot of rust to shake off, and maybe Baucus didn't think he was up to the task.
Now, of course, Republicans are already crowing about the opportunities than an open seat in a GOP-leaning state will present to them. But Montana may be a rare state where Democrats could be better off without their incumbent running again, if they can recruit ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer as a replacement. Schweitzer left office earlier this year thanks to term limits, after two very successful terms that saw him earn a great deal of popularity with voters. Not only would Schweitzer bring his own, authentically Montana virtues to the race, but he'd largely be free of Baucus's negatives. He also performed much better than Baucus did against the same set of opponents in PPP's poll.

A bit unexpectedly, Schweitzer's already said in response to these retirement reports that he isn't ruling out a run and indeed, it sounds like he's taking the idea pretty seriously. Prior to Tuesday, though, Schweitzer had repeatedly insisted that he's "not senile enough to be in the Senate," and it really seemed like he always meant it. But if he wants to change his mind, I'm sure he can use his trademark humor to write his past remarks off to his traditionally bluff style. And you can bet that DC Democrats are indeed eagerly urging him to change his mind, because after Schweitzer, the bench starts to get a lot thinner very quickly.
As for the GOP, they'd only landed two candidates prior to Baucus's decision, neither of them inspiring. One is ex-state Sen. Corey Stapleton, who finished a distant second in a seven-way gubernatorial primary last year. The other is state Rep. Champ Edmunds, a real piece of work. Baucus's departure may spur stronger contenders to get in, though. In PPP's poll, the two toughest (who in fact both held leads over the incumbent) were freshman Rep. Steve Daines and ex-Gov. Marc Racicot. Attorney General Tim Fox could also make a go of it, though as is usually the case following retirement announcements, we'll likely start to hear plenty of names in the coming days.
(A spokesperson for Daines says he's giving "serious and thoughtful consideration" to a Senate bid. Amusingly, Daines's spokesperson worked for, of all people, Rick Berg last cycle. An at-large freshman Republican congressman running for an open Senate seat in a red state out west? Let's hope there are more than surface similarities between Daines and Berg. Meanwhile, Fox didn't rule it out in a vague statement.)
Republicans will undoubtedly make an extremely aggressive effort to win back this seat no matter whom they nominate, but Democrats have had a great deal of success in Montana over the past decade. The GOP hasn't won a Senate race in the state since 2000, and Democrats have also won the last three gubernatorial elections. Last fall's victories were particularly notable, given that both Sen. Jon Tester and then-AG Steve Bullock rode to wins despite facing the headwinds of a presidential election. That's something Team Blue won't have to contend with next year—but first Democrats have to worry about finding a candidate, and all eyes are on Schweitzer.

Nevada moves closer to legalizing gay marriage

ap kelvin atkinson mi 130423 wblog Gay Senator Comes Out As State Approves Same Sex MarriageTime to get those gay-wedding chapels ready, Las Vegas. Nevada moved closer to legalizing gay marriage late Monday with the passing of a resolution that recognizes such nuptials. The resolution removes a provision from the state constitution that declares marriage as being solely between a man and a woman.  Although Las  Vegas has a risque reputation, Nevada remains a conservative state with a strong Mormon lobbying presence—meaning that the debate has been fairly charged. The new resolution passed with the support of 11 Democrats and one Republican, although language was included to make sure no religious organization would be forced to perform a gay ceremony.

CNN's John King admitted, he made a fool out of himself

CNN's John King admitted, Tuesday, that the network’s shoddy reporting on the Boston Marathon bombing was both “embarrassing” and “a double kick in the head” because he’s a Boston native. During an interview with a D.C.-based radio station about CNN’s mistakes, King said, ”I’ve been at this for nearly 30 years, gentlemen. I’ve covered a couple of wars and a lot of breaking news and a lot of cops-and-robbers situations. I’ve got a pretty good track record, but when you do something like this, it’s embarrassing.” 

Exploiting White racial resentment was for decades the GOP's fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans.

Ron Paul's recent appearances on largely African-American college campuses to promote the notion that the GOP was always a firm supporter of civil rights and the true friend of African-Americans was met with widespread and well-deserved ridicule.

But the commentary failed to confront a key fact: this claim is an integral part of a larger attempt by conservatives to whitewash the GOP's shameful past on racial issues, an attempt that extends from Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and other right-wing commentators on the one hand, to the pages of the National Review on the other.

TDS is pleased to offer the following TDS Strategy Memo that sets the record straight:

The media coverage of Ron Paul's "the GOP was always for civil rights" revisionist history failed to clearly report the central reality: that the exploitation of white racial resentment was for decades the GOP's fundamental political strategy regarding African-Americans.

To read the Memo, click HERE.

Source:  http://www.thedemocraticstrategist.org/

Jon Stewart eviscerating CNN for its Boston Marathon bombing coverage Monday night

Another week of The Daily Show brought another round of Jon Stewart eviscerating CNN for its Boston Marathon bombing coverage Monday night. The host picked up where he left off last week, tearing into the network for its inane reporting during the massive manhunt on Friday.
After giving credit to NBC News and giving the New York Post some gentle ribbing, Stewart moved on to his primary target. He suspected CNN may have taken some of his advice from the week before, as they notably stopped speculating as much as they had been before the suspects were identified. “It’s a much more responsible way of broadcasting than your usual ‘say it first and have Anderson Cooper correct it later.’”
Stewart reserved special disdain for CNN reporter Deborah Feyerick, who had lot to say about some barking dogs. He said something his dog just “stares out the window and barks even when there’s nothing out there. Sometimes he licks his own genitals. You can’t always read a lot into what they do… news-wise.”
But even worse was CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti, who let this gem pass her lips about Boston under lockdown: “It’s as though a bomb had dropped somewhere.”
“Yes, it does seem like that sometimes,” Stewart said with his head in his hands. “It’s not so much a metaphor as, what actually happened.”
Watch video below, via Comedy Central:

Boston Bombings: Read The Charging Documents

Read the criminal complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and the affidavit of FBI Special Agent Daniel R. Genck.

The Climate Reality Project

Thirty-five years ago, I started telling the story of the climate crisis because the scientific experts were growing alarmed and because I believed each person could make a difference. Now, more than ever, I know this is true. Today, I’m inviting you to join me to become a Climate Leader.
Climate Leaders are an incredible group of people. They come from all around the world with one common goal: to solve the climate crisis. The task is not an easy one, but it is worthy of the best in us.
If you want to join the growing number of Climate Leaders, please consider attending one of the two training sessions this summer — one in Istanbul in June or the other in Chicago in July.
At the training, you’ll work with me personally and with some of the best scientists, strategists, communicators, and organizers in the world in order to learn about climate science and develop skills you’ll use for the rest of your life.
You’ll learn what it means to be an effective communicator, work closely with other grassroots leaders in your region and around the world — and emerge ready to tackle humanity’s greatest challenge.
To find out more about this unique opportunity and apply today, click here.
Al Gore
Chairman, The Climate Reality Project

Rep. Sherrod Brown: Tell the Boy Scouts -- everyone should be allowed to participate, regardless of sexual orientation. Sign the open letter today

It was around forty years ago that I became an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, the third of three in my family (my two older brothers are Eagle Scouts, too). One of my heroes, John Glenn, spoke at my Eagle dinner. It was a proud day for me.

I would like to continue to be proud. But right now, the BSA has a standing policy that excludes openly gay Scouts and Scout leaders from participating.

Just last week, the Boy Scouts of America announced that they plan on changing the rule to allow gay Scouts, but not gay leaders. The board of BSA is set to vote on the plan sometime in May.

It’s a step -- but it’s not far enough. I'm joining forces with two other Eagle Scouts, Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, to call for change. We're sending an open letter to the Boy Scouts of America. Would you sign it?

Tell the Boy Scouts -- everyone should be allowed to participate, regardless of sexual orientation. Sign the open letter today.
Scouting isn't just about badges and mottos. It's about teaching young people leadership and integrity. And it's time the organization took those values to heart. 

Excluding openly gay participants doesn't only hurt those excluded. It hurts Scouts with openly gay parents, and it teaches our youth that discrimination is acceptable.

It's outrageous that in 2013, a group like the BSA could still embrace discrimination. We've ended Don't Ask, Don't Tell in the military. The Girl Scouts have shown real inclusive leadership. It's time for the Boy Scouts to do the same.

Join Senator Merkley, Zach, and me. Sign our open letter urging the Boy Scouts of America to stop discriminating.

The Boy Scouts is an American institution. And I hope that future generations of Scouts and their families, regardless of their sexual orientation, will have the opportunities that I had growing up as a Boy Scout.

Yours in Scouting,


Transcript, President’s Remarks On Capture Of Boston Bomb Suspect

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight our nation is in debt to the people of Boston and the people of Massachusetts. After a vicious attack on their city, Bostonians responded with resolve and determination. They did their part as citizens and partners in this investigation.
Boston police and state police and local police across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts responded with professionalism and bravery over five long days. And tonight, because of their determined efforts, we’ve closed an important chapter in this tragedy.
I’ve been briefed earlier this evening by FBI Director Mueller. After the attacks on Monday, I directed the full resources of the federal government to be made available to help state and local authorities in the investigation and to increase security as needed. Over the past week, close coordination among federal, state, and local officials — sharing information, moving swiftly to track down leads — has been critical to this effort.
They all worked as they should, as a team. And we are extremely grateful for that. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to all our outstanding law enforcement professionals. These men and women get up every day, they put on that uniform; they risk their lives to keep us safe — and as this week showed, they don’t always know what to expect. So our thoughts are with those who were wounded in pursuit of the suspects and we pray for their full recovery.
We also send our prayers to the Collier family who grieve the loss of their son and brother, Sean. “He was born to be a police officer,” said his chief at MIT. He was just 26 years old. And as his family has said, he died bravely in the line of duty, doing what he committed his life to doing — serving and protecting others. So we’re grateful to him.
Obviously, tonight there are still many unanswered questions. Among them, why did young men who grew up and studied here, as part of our communities and our country, resort to such violence? How did they plan and carry out these attacks, and did they receive any help? The families of those killed so senselessly deserve answers. The wounded, some of whom now have to learn how to stand and walk and live again, deserve answers.
And so I’ve instructed the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security and our intelligence community to continue to deploy all the necessary resources to support the investigation, to collect intelligence, and to protect our citizens. We will determine what happened. We will investigate any associations that these terrorists may have had. And we’ll continue to do whatever we have to do to keep our people safe.
One thing we do know is that whatever hateful agenda drove these men to such heinous acts will not — cannot — prevail. Whatever they thought they could ultimately achieve, they’ve already failed. They failed because the people of Boston refused to be intimidated. They failed because, as Americans, we refused to be terrorized. They failed because we will not waver from the character and the compassion and the values that define us as a country. Nor will we break the bonds that hold us together as Americans.
That American spirit includes staying true to the unity and diversity that makes us strong — like no other nation in the world. In this age of instant reporting and tweets and blogs, there’s a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions. But when a tragedy like this happens, with public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it’s important that we do this right. That’s why we have investigations. That’s why we relentlessly gather the facts. That’s why we have courts. And that’s why we take care not to rush to judgment — not about the motivations of these individuals; certainly not about entire groups of people.
After all, one of the things that makes America the greatest nation on Earth, but also, one of the things that makes Boston such a great city, is that we welcome people from all around the world — people of every faith, every ethnicity, from every corner of the globe. So as we continue to learn more about why and how this tragedy happened, let’s make sure that we sustain that spirit.
Tonight we think of all the wounded, still struggling to recover. Certainly we think of Krystle Campbell. We think of Lingzi Lu. And we think of little Martin Richard. Their lives reflected all the diversity and beauty of our country, and they were sharing the great American experience together.
Finally, let me say that even as so much attention has been focused on the tragic events in Boston, understandably, we’ve also seen a tight-knit community in Texas devastated by a terrible explosion. And I want them to know that they are not forgotten. Our thoughts, our prayers are with the people of West, Texas, where so many good people lost their lives; some lost their homes; many are injured; many are still missing.
I’ve talked to Governor Perry and Mayor Muska and I’ve pledged that the people of West will have the resources that they need to recover and rebuild. And I want everybody in Texas to know that we will follow through with those commitments.
All in all, this has been a tough week. But we’ve seen the character of our country once more. And as President, I’m confident that we have the courage and the resilience and the spirit to overcome these challenges — and to go forward, as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you very much, everybody.
 (Video excerpt here.)

Feds told body found in boat near Boston. Unclear if suspect; developing story


This is a developing story and we expect to have more information soon. Go to NBCNews.com for further developments.

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VIDEO: Reporters Rush For Cover In Watertown, Mass.

The scene in Watertown, Mass. turned chaotic on Friday morning, prompting law enforcement to order reporters there to take cover on the ground. a A massive manhunt is underway in Watertown for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
NBC's Kerry Sanders, reporting via cell phone and lying on the ground at one point, admitted he wasn't sure of the impetus for the mayhem at the scene. Sanders did say he saw a man not far from where he was reporting who was lying on the ground and "did not appear to be moving at all."

Police now looking for two suspects, according to authorities in Boston


This is a developing story and we expect to have more information soon. Go to NBCNews.com for further developments.

Read full story

How Can New York Post, Get The Boston Marathon, Story So, Wrong

Right before noon on April 16, the New York Post quietly surrendered and conceded its big scoop from the previous day, that 12 people had been killed by the Patriot's Day terrorist attack in Boston, could no longer be sustained.
The concession didn't come in the form of a correction or a clarification. (Rupert Murdoch's money-losing daily rarely bothers with such newsroom niceties). It simply appeared in a news story posted on the daily's website at 11:55 a.m., where any reference to 12 Boston victims was quietly dropped [emphasis added]:
The twin blasts killed at least three people and injured 176 -- including 17 in critical condition, authorities said today.
Four hours later, the Post reaffirmed that it had flushed its big scoop down the memory hole [emphasis added]: 
A 29-year-old restaurant manager from suburban Boston and an 8-year-old boy from the city's Dorchester neighborhood were identified today as two of the three people killed in the Boston Marathon bombings.
But that wasn't all.
Right around 3 p.m. on April 16, the Post quietly conceded its other big scoop from the day before was wrong; its claim that a Saudi national student had been taken "into custody" by police, was tagged a "suspect". ("Suspect" was later amended to a "potential suspect.) That second embarrassing concession was announced on the daily's twitter feed:
Investigators rule out Saudi national as a suspect in Boston bombing after searching his apartment nyp.st/Zougoy
-- New York Post (@nypost) April 16, 2013
It's not the most pressing question to ponder in the wake of the carnage that exploded in Boston, as authorities search for those responsible. But in terms of journalism and ethics and common sense, the Post's performance does make you wonder how a news organization, and even one owned by Rupert Murdoch, manages to get a story that wrong?
I understand it's the notoriously deceitful New York Post we're talking about. It's one thing to make stuff upabout Democrats on behalf of the RNC while the Post proudly plays its role as cog in the Republican Noise Machine. But to completely botch, and so publicly, botch one of the biggest crime story in years?
New York Post
If there's anything the Post, as a proud big-city tabloid, is supposed to be good at, it's big crime stories; working cop sources as well as sources buried deep inside the FBI and the federal government. The Post is supposed to be wired all across law enforcement, even if the breaking story unfolds in Boston.
So this debacle is bad; really bad. Even for the New York Post.
I don't pretend to have any real insight into how Murdoch thinks, and especially what he thinks of his media properties. I do understand they do not easily embarrass him. But for someone who sees himself as a global media baron and a Very Serious Person, watching his beloved New York flagship newspaper become a laughingstock amidst the biggest U.S. terror story in a decade cannot be a pleasant experience.
Keep in the mind the Post's breathless reporting then prompted Fox News' Fox & Friends morning crew on Tuesday to hype the hollow story, with co-host Brian Kilmeade drumming up suspicion about the Saudi student:  
KILMEADE: This Saudi national that is a person of interest in the hospital right now who we've gone through his apartment. How unusual is it for the bomber, who is not a homicide bomber, to be a victim? Evidently he had burns on him and smelled like gunpowder. What does that make you conclude?
Fox's Andrew Napolitano, listing the reasons why the Saudi student aroused suspicion, actually said it was because he "appeared more concerned" after the bomb detonated and rained chaos down on Boylston Street. (Was there anyone within a mile who looked less concerned at that moment?)
It really was a case of the Murdoch blind at the Post leading the Murdoch blind at Fox News.
And speaking of Murdoch, here's the larger, looming question to ponder in the wake of this week's newsroom fiasco: How much longer will the Post even be around to screw things up?
Just hours before the Boston blast, Murdoch-biographer Michael Wolff wrote in the Guardian that the aging media owner will surely outlive his prized, pugnacious daily, as "the Post's day of reckoning nears." That's because the Post hemorrhages money, as much as $110 million annually, and can only survive because of Murdoch's constant largess. (So much for the rigors of the free marketplace.)
As BusinessWeek pointed out in 2005:
The Post has lost so much money for so long that it would have folded years ago if News Corp. applied the same profit-making rigor to the tabloid as it does to its other businesses.
What's now looming is Murdoch's restructuring of News Corp., which is being broken up into two separate entities. One will operate as a newspaper, coupon, and book publishing firm, with newspapers published in Australia, Britain and the United States. The other, far larger and more lucrative entity, will be an entertainment company made up of the Fox TV network, Fox News, and the 20th Century Fox movie studio.
Murdoch's entertainment profits subsidized the Post's massive losses for years. Without those entertainment companies contributing to Murdoch's new publishing entity, what's going to sustain his money-losing daily in New York?
Better question: After its dreadful Boston performance, will anyone miss the Post when it's gone?

Email The Senators Who Voted Against Common Sense Gun Laws

Click here to tell these senators that you Demand common sense gun laws! Inaction is not an option!

Click here to thank the senators who voted in favor of common sense gun legislation:  

Below, a list of the Twitter handles of all of the senators who voted no on the measure, excluding Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who voted against the amendment on procedural grounds. Find their information and let them know how you feel.

Jon Stewart Tears Apart CNN For ‘Completely F*cking Wrong’ Boston Reporting: ‘Human Centipede Of News’

Jon Stewart let CNN have it over its erroneous reporting that an arrest had been made in the case of the Boston Marathon bombing. Stewart mocked how much CNN kept boasting of its “exclusive reporting,” which turned ot to be exclusive “because it was completely fucking wrong,” and was even more blown away by how CNN was subsequently backing away from and questioning that very report. Stewart described this as the network “shit[ting] in their own mouths,” christening CNN “the Human Centipede of News.”

Stewart played a variety of clips in which Wolf Blitzer touted the network’s “exclusive reporting” on the arrest. Stewart said, “It’s exclusive because it was completely fucking wrong!” He also got in a veiled swipe at new CNN head Jeff Zucker for claiming Stewart to be a jealous competitor.
Stewart asked, “Did any of your sources end their tip-offs to you with the phrase ‘Ba ba booey?’” And when CNN just dropped the story altogether, Stewart called it a “news story as imagined by M. Night Shyamalan.”
But perhaps the best part for Stewart was the hour-long gap between the initial breaking news and the eventual confirmed walk-back in which CNN anchors attempted to clarify and walk back the report of the arrest. Stewart viewed this as CNN removing the middle-man and realizing they can “shit in their own mouths.” Or, as Stewart more colorfully put it, “the Human Centipede of news.”
Stewart then brought on correspondent John Oliver who, with the help of Jessica Williams, narrowed the identity of the bombing suspect down to either a “dark-skinned male, possible white, or maybe a woman,” “a fat Hispanic baby,” or “a dog on its hind legs wearing glasses and a hat.”
Watch the video below, courtesy of Comedy Central: