One-third of Americans support impeaching Obama. One-fifth don’t understand “impeachment.”

President Clinton thanks those Democratic members of the House who voted against impeachment in 1998 | (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Go figure…

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

For the casual observer (or enthusiastic partisan), a new poll from CNN / ORC International reveals a staggering point of data: one-third of the country, 33 percent, supports impeaching President Obama. That’s 100 million people (if we extrapolate those attitudes to children and so on)! Can he survive?

Yes, he can. As CNN itself points out, that figure is in line with public support for impeachment of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton during their time in office. In August 2006, a CNN poll found that 30 percent of Americans supported impeaching Bush. And in September 1998, 29 percent supported impeaching Clinton. A Post poll from that December had the figure even higher, at 39 percent.



There’s a good footnote to that data which we will get to in a second.

You will not be surprised to learn that attitudes on impeachment break down along party lines. Four times as many Republicans think Obama should be impeached as Democrats. Independent voters are slightly above the overall average.


You are not surprised by that for two reasons. The first is that you are familiar with the state of our nation’s polarized politics. The second is that you are probably familiar with the way that “impeachment” has become a sort of shorthand for “recall election.”

CNN asked respondents when they thought impeachment was appropriate. Eighteen percent said that it was appropriate “in order to express dissatisfaction with his policies or the way the president is handling his job.” That’s one-fifth of the country; some 60 million people (again including little kids for some reason).




Here’s what the Constitution says about impeachment, as a refresher.


High crimes and misdemeanors are listed. Being mad about something is not. (KS – Emphasis are mine)


Now we come back to the footnote from above. Clinton was impeached (having admitted to committing a crime), but was not removed from office, because those are two different things. Impeachment has become something of a shorthand for “we need him gone,” but that’s not what the tool does. States and localities have recall elections, which are specific tools for removing officials from office for whatever reason the voters want. There are recall elections at the federal level, too. Unfortunately for voters in 1998 and 2006 and 2014, those recall elections (also known as reelection bids) had already occurred two years in the past.

Interestingly, in a search of news articles from President Reagan’s administration we couldn’t find polls on whether or not he should have been impeached. In December 1986, the Times polled on whether or not people thought Reagan was trustworthy and on administration officials pleading the Fifth in response to questions on the Iran-Contra scandal. But no question about impeachment. Shortly after, an opinion columnist writing for the paper argued that “[m]any think the president deserves impeachment.” That isn’t quantified.

None of which means that Obama won’t face impeachment. On Friday morning, adviser Dan Pfeiffer predicted that this was the path the House was headed down. We shall see.

Billionaire Blasts Companies That Jump Overseas To Duck Taxes: ‘I’m Selling Your Stock’

Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor Mark Cuban

Dallas Mavericks owner and billionaire investor Mark Cuban | Credit: AP

Mark Cuban is a smart guy.

Not only does he have a knack for making a lot of money,  he also recognizes the un-American activities by the corporations in question and has a plan to upset their tax-evasion techniques.

Think Progress

As more and more American corporations have used mergers and shell companies to shift profits and shrink their U.S. tax liabilities over the past few years, there has generally been a sharp divide between populists who decry the maneuvers and investors who celebrate them.

Friday morning saw a high-profile defection from the economic elites’ camp, however, as outspoken billionaire investor Mark Cuban pledged to sell off his holdings in companies that move offshore for tax reasons. “If I own stock in your company and you move offshore for tax reasons I’m selling your stock,” Cuban tweeted.

Rather than seeking a synthetic boost in their stock price by shifting tax burdens onto others, Cuban said, American companies should persuade investors to accept slower growth in their market returns in exchange for job growth and expansion here at home. His primary rationale is a self-interested rather than a philanthropic or political one, as you might expect from a wealthy investor with a healthy competitive streak. “When companies move off shore to save on taxes, you and I make up the tax shortfall elsewhere sell those stocks and they won’t move,” he tweeted later.

Cuban’s high-profile opposition to corporate offshoring could provide a signal boost of sorts for the Obama administration’s own efforts to encourage a renewed “sense of economic patriotism” among business elites. While President Obama himself has begun speaking against the sorts of moves Cuban decried Friday, the corporate executives who make these decisions may be more receptive to hearing it from one of their own.
As media chatter about offshoring and corporate taxes gets louder, odds of getting actual legislation passed may be improving slightly. The Senate will debate the Bring Jobs Home Act more than two years after it was first introduced. While an actual vote on the measure is still not guaranteed, the last time the bill came up Republicans filibustered it before it could even be discussed fully on the floor. A vote to allow debate on Wednesday represents progress, however marginal and fragile.

The momentum behind such legislation comes in large part from a wave of mergers designed to allow American companies to move their official headquarters to tax haven countries like Ireland. Those mergers, known as “inversions,” have become far more popular in the years since the Great Recession began than they were over the previous two decades. They have also garnered negative attention for companies like Pfizer, Medtronic, and Walgreen’s that are reportedly considering inversion mergers this year.
Profit offshoring costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars per year, and the total profit held overseas by American companies now hovers around $2 trillion.


Paul Krugman: California proves the GOP's "extremist ideology ... is nonsense"

Paul Krugman | (Credit: Reuters/Chip East)


The New York Times columnist explains how California’s success puts conservative dogma to shame

In his latest column for the New York Times, award-winning economist and best-selling author Paul Krugman argues that California’s recent success — and Kansas’ ongoing failure — is yet more proof that conservative anti-tax dogma “is nonsense.”

After citing Justice Brandeis’ famous claim that America’s states are laboratories for democracy, Krugman turns to compare and contrast California and Kansas, noting that while the former state has seen economic growth and a successful implementation of Obamacare, the latter has had a stagnant economy and a ballooning deficit.

Not incidentally, these states decided to take opposite approaches to economic policy, with California embracing “a modestly liberal agenda of higher taxes, spending increases and a rise in the minimum wage” while Kansas “went all-in on supply-side economics, slashing taxes on the affluent” only to see paltry growth and a darkening fiscal picture.

“If tax increases are causing a major flight of jobs from California, you can’t see it in the job numbers,” Krugman writes. “Employment is up 3.6 percent in the past 18 months, compared with a national average of 2.8 percent; at this point, California’s share of national employment, which was hit hard by the bursting of the state’s enormous housing bubble, is back to pre-recession levels.”

Does Krugman expect the California example to change conservatives’ minds? Hardly. “Has there been any soul-searching among the prophets of California doom, asking why they were so wrong?” he asks. “Not that I’m aware of. Instead, I’ve been seeing many attempts to devalue the good news from California by pointing out that the state’s job growth still lags that of Texas, which is true, and claiming that this difference is driven by differential tax rates, which isn’t.”

Krugman then explains why Texas and California diverge — and how it’s not for the reasons right-wingers think:

For the big difference between the two states, aside from the size of the oil and gas sector, isn’t tax rates. it’s housing prices. Despite the bursting of the bubble, home values in California are still double the national average, while in Texas they’re 30 percent below that average. So a lot more people are moving to Texas even though wages and productivity are lower than they are in California.

And while some of this difference in housing prices reflects geography and population density — Houston is still spreading out, while Los Angeles, hemmed in by mountains, has reached its natural limits — it also reflects California’s highly restrictive land-use policies, mostly imposed by local governments rather than the state. As Harvard’s Edward Glaeser has pointed out, there is some truth to the claim that states like Texas are growing fast thanks to their anti-regulation attitude, “but the usual argument focuses on the wrong regulations.” And taxes aren’t important at all.

10 things you need to know today: July 25, 2014

The aftermath of an Israeli airstrike. 

The aftermath of an Israeli airstrike. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The Week

Israeli tank fire kills 15 in a U.N. school, Obama calls for closing overseas tax loopholes, and more

1. Protests rock the West Bank ahead of a “day of rage”
Israel deployed thousands of security forces around Jerusalem after Palestinian leaders called for a “day of rage” on Friday following massive overnight protests in the West Bank. Israeli tank shells reportedly hit a United Nations school in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people. Dozens of Palestinians had sought shelter there from fighting between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian faction that runs Gaza. Israel said it did not target the school. [NBC News, USA Today]


2. Obama urges Congress to close overseas tax loopholes for businesses
President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to close loopholes allowing businesses to use foreign partnerships to avoid taxes at home, even when their headquarters and main operations remain in the U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he was all for asking companies to pay their fair share, but that Obama administration policies were “punitive and restrictive to businesses.” [CBS News]


3. Ukraine’s prime minister submits his resignation
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk resigned on Thursday after two parties quit the government coalition, forcing new elections to renew a parliament unchanged since the ouster of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich in February. The country’s new president, Petro Poroshenko, backed Yatseniuk’s departure, saying forcing new elections would purge the chamber of “Moscow agents.” [Reuters]


4. Air Algerie wreck blamed on weather
The wreckage of a chartered Air Algerie jetliner was found Thursday in Mali. The plane was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members when it left Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, for Algiers early Thursday. There did not appear to be any survivors. Burkina Faso’s top military leader, Gen. Gilbert Diendere, said fierce thunderstorms that were pounding the Sahara as the plane flew over probably played a role in the crash. [The New York Times]


5. Amazon losses climb due to big investments to woo customers reported its biggest quarterly loss since 2012 on Thursday. The world’s largest online retailer lost $126 million, far higher than the average analyst’s forecast of $66.7 million. Amazon’s sales climbed by 23 percent to $19.3 billion, but CEO Jeff Bezos’ strategy of investing heavily in services and gadgets to inspire customer loyalty hurt profits. Amazon stock fell by more than 11 percent on the news. [Bloomberg News]


6. One killed, two wounded in Pennsylvania psychiatric hospital shooting
A gunman killed one person and wounded two others during a Thursday shooting at the psychiatric unit of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in the Philadelphia suburb of Darby, Pennsylvania. The suspect — a patient — entered Dr. Lee Silverman’s office with a female caseworker and allegedly opened fire. Silverman, who was wounded, pulled his own gun and wounded the assailant after the caseworker was killed. [The Associated Press]


7. Arizona officials defend controversial execution
Arizona prison officials denied Thursday that the two-hour execution of double-murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood had been “botched.” State officials said that Wood was brain-dead during 90 minutes of gulping and snorting before he was declared dead. Wood’s attorneys unsuccessfully asked a judge to stop the procedure as Wood got a second round of lethal-injection drugs. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the process “torture.” [The Arizona Republic]


8. U.S. considers screening refugees in Honduras to discourage illegal immigration
The Obama administration is considering screening thousands of young people in Honduras to see if they should be allowed to enter the U.S. as refugees or on emergency humanitarian grounds. It would be the first such move involving a country linked by land to the U.S. The White House is seeking ways to discourage young Hondurans from joining the wave of undocumented child immigrants streaming over the U.S.-Mexico border. [The New York Times]


9. Pope meets with Sudanese Christian sentenced to death for her faith
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death by an Islamist judge for refusing to renounce her faith, met Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday. Ibrahim was convicted for apostasy for allegedly converting from Islam to Christianity. She insisted she had been raised Christian, and was released last month under international pressure. The pope thanked her for staying true to her faith, a Vatican spokesman said. [The Washington Post]


10. Fifty Shades of Grey trailer debuts
The first trailer of the film adaptation of author E.L. James’ wildly popular, bondage-themed Fifty Shades of Grey books made its debut on NBC’s Today on Thursday. NBC only aired part of the steamy clip, in which the Christian Grey character tells paramour Anastasia Steele to stay away from him because she wouldn’t understand his quirky tastes. “Enlighten me,” she replies. The film opens Feb. 13. [AceShowbiz]

Ted Nugent Blasts ‘Unclean Vermin’ After Native American Tribe Canceled His Show

Why do I even bother posting anything about this racist cretin?  Because he fits the tagline of this blog to a tee:  Sorting out the crazies


Ted Nugent lashed out after a native American tribe in Idaho cancelled his show over his history of racist remarks. “I take it as a badge of honor that such unclean vermin are upset by me and my positive energy,” Nugent told Gannett Wisconsin Media in reference to those opposed to his show. “Put your heart and soul into everything you do and nobody can stop you. Sometimes you give the world the best you got and you get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you got anyway.”

“By all indicators, I don’t think they actually qualify as people, but there has always been a lunatic fringe of hateful, rotten, dishonest people that hate happy, successful people,” Nugent said.

Nugent, who dodged the draft by crapping in his pants, continued to say, “I have been blessed to be welcomed into the lives of U.S. military heroes forever and have come to know the serious price paid for freedom and the American dream.”

“I have vowed to these warriors that I will put to use to the best of my ability those freedoms and rights that they have sacrificed to provide we the people in this sacred experiment in self-government,” he said. “I believe raising hell and demanding accountability from our elected employees is Job One for every American. I am simply doing my job,” he said.

Since he brought up the military, this is (in Nugent’s words) what he did to avoid serving:

I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body. No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin’ and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie. I had long hair, and it started gettin’ kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before, I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop, little jars of Polish sausages, and I’d drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up.

Ted Nugent is another right wing hero with a dubious record. Suddenly, Nugent isn’t too fond of the Free Market.

Now read this:

Fox hosts outraged that Texas 911 operators are ‘forced’ to help dying non-English speakers


Fox News host Steve Doocy | screenshot

Steve Doocy’s hatred of the “other” is clearly demonstrated in his facial expression here.  The problem with the above picture is that the expression appears to be permanent, not unlike an old episode of The Twilight Zone entitled: The Masks.

The Raw Story

The hosts of Fox & Friends on Wednesday were shocked to learn that emergency responders were “forced” to serve non-English speakers in life-threatening situations even if the callers were suspected of entering the country illegally.

“They stumbled across the border illegally and now they need your help!” Fox News host Steve Doocy complained, pointing to a 911 call in Brooks County, Texas where a man who could only speak Spanish asked for a helicopter rescue because his cousin was “turning purple.”

“A small Texas town forced to answer 911 from stranded illegals in Spanish!” Doocy exclaimed.

“Not only are they understaffed and lacking resources, now they’ve got to deal with illegal immigrants who have no business being here,” co-host Brian Kilmeade opined.

Brooks County Chief Deputy Urbino “Benny” Martinez pointed out to Kilmeade that his department had a duty to respond to all 911 calls.

“So, those calls you have to respond to, even though for the most part when you get there, you realize, they’re not an American citizen?” the Fox News host pressed.

“That’s correct, but they’re on U.S. soil, and due process comes into play, and that’s the way we’re taking them as,” Martinez explained.

The chief deputy added that he wanted Republicans and Democrats to drop partisan ideology and have a “sincere dialog” because his department was running out of funds.

Earlier this week, sheriffs of Texas border counties said that Gov. Rick Perry (R) was wasting money on a “political” stunt by sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the border.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio told the Dallas Morning News that the state should be spending money to fund police officers who were empowered to respond to the border crisis.

Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox & Friends, broadcast July 23, 2014.


KS:  I always think of the text that appears on the Statue of Liberty.  In part it reads…

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus 

The Republican Party’s problem with black people

The Republican Party mascot in front of the Starlite Ballroom at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The Washington Post – Jonathan Capehart

Overall, I agree with Ron Christie’s argument in the Daily Beast on “how to really empower black voters nationwide.” The former special assistant to President George W. Bush and deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney says, “Republicans need a positive message for people of color, and they need to state that message clearly, and with conviction.” The Republican strategist, who is African American, writes, “Republicans need to expand who they are talking to in communities of color.” Both are very true. But the GOP suffers a bit from denial and has a self-reinforcing image problem that makes it seem inhospitable to people of color, which is something that comes through in the fourth paragraph of Christie’s column.

It jumps off the excellent story last week by Nate Cohn on the potentialpower of the Southern black vote in keeping the Democrats in control of the Senate. “Now we need to see the power of the black vote expand nationwide,” Christie writes, “which will only happen when Republicans and Democrats alike are forced to fight for their support.” And then he adds:

Given that roughly 90 percent of blacks are committed supporters of the Democratic Party, I suspect they will take this voting bloc for granted by promising more government support and handouts — belittling blacks by assuming that a majority of us are interested in “free” stuff from the government. I also assume that they’ll continue pushing the canard that the Republican push for voter ID laws is an attempt to disenfranchise black voters.

Voter identification laws as an attempt to disenfranchise black voters is hardly a canard. Plenty of Republicans, elected and unelected, are on record admitting it. Colin Powell went so far as to take his party to task over its fevered claims of voter fraud. “You can say what you like, but there is no voter fraud,” the former secretary of state said last year in North Carolina. “How can it be widespread and undetected?” Indeed, how can it?

As for belittling blacks, the Republican insistence on peddling makers-vs.-takers nonsense to deny that there are people in this country in need of assistance is a prime example of said condescension. Surely, the GOP must see that it shoots itself in the foot with every utterance of “free stuff.” Good luck getting a look-see from folks loudly branded as moochers by the same people asking to be taken seriously. And let’s be clear: Free stuff is the food sample the folks at Costco hand you, not the food stamps that keep families from going hungry.

A combination photo shows Tea Party candidate Chris McDaniel (L) attending a rally in Madison, Mississippi and Republican U.S. Senator ThadCochran campaigning in Pass Christian, Mississippi June 19, 2014. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)
Tea party candidate Chris McDaniel, left, and Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters)

No sooner did Christie slam “free stuff” than he praised a Republican who saved his seat by highlighting his ability to get “free stuff” from Washington. Christie praised Sen. Thad Cochran’s successful run-off against challenger Chris McDaniel as a model for “how to effectively bring black voters to the polls.” The five-term senator from Mississippi won, Christie insists, “because Cochran did what many Republicans seem reluctant to do: Ask for the support of black voters, and make a real, substantive argument for that support.”

Yes, that is true. But in asking, Cochran did something else. According to a Jackson Free Press story last month, “Cochran tout[ed] his support for historically black colleges and universities, the Jackson Medical Mall and Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, formerly called food stamps.” One man’s “bring home the bacon” is another man’s “free stuff.” Christie doesn’t try to explain how Cochran’s actions didn’t belittle blacks.

Like I said, Christie makes a good point. Democrats and Republicans should actively compete for the African American vote. And there is no denying that he is correct in his assessment that Democrats take black voters for granted. But Republicans make that oh so easy when their condescension, racially tinged rhetoric and questionable policies make them an unworthy alternative.

“Open carry” activists have a lovely time celebrating guns at the site a Democratic President was murdered by one



I  visited Dealey Plaza back in the late 90′s while working in Dallas.

The place is so calm and serene.  It’s a shame to think those clowns thought it was appropriate to demonstrate their insanity in such a sad place. I truly wonder what is the genetic makeup of non-thinking neanderthals that allow them to distribute such anti-social behavior throughout this country.  It’s simply mind-boggling.

The Raw Story

From the Dallas Observer and Talking Points Memo it appears that some of the “open carry” extremists are little worried we don’t get the implication when they scream about how the Democratic President is illegitimate and all their lip-flapping about how they need guns for some fantasized-about revolution. So, just in case we aren’t getting the hint, this group called Come and Take It Dallas went to Dealey Plaza to have an open carry demonstration. Yes, that’s where President John Kennedy was shot. Yes, I think we get the message.

This definitely crosses the line from lip-flapping and fantasizing out loud to something the Secret Service probably needs to investigate. Consider, of course, how anti-choicers do a ton of lip-flapping about how abortion doctors are all “murderers” and “executioners” and then act all surprised when someone hears their non-subtle hints loud and clear and decides to shoot a doctor or bomb a clinic. This is pretty concerning, even though I am sure most of these people are more interested in play-acting revolutionaries than actually doing something violent.

Of course, having a bunch of wingnuts waving guns around Dealey Plaza sends a message that’s plenty loud and clear, but just in case you’re as literal-minded and stupid as the people doing this are, they draw a line under the message and italicize it, with one guy starting at 4:40 ranting about the “usurper” and “propaganda” from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, because those are names of people he knows are Democrats.

I wonder how many of them know that Lee Harvey Oswald was not some right wing terrorist who was valiantly standing up against a “usurper” in the White House. Oh, who am I kidding? I bet not a one of them thinks that he was the lone gunman anyway.

10 things you need to know today: July 24, 2014

Joseph Rudolph Wood's execution took nearly two hours. 

Joseph Rudolph Wood’s execution took nearly two hours. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections)

The Eighth Amendment (Amendment VIII) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights (ratified December 15, 1791[1]) prohibiting the federal governmentfrom imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments, including torture. 
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that this amendment's Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause also applies to the states. The phrases in this amendment originated in the English Bill of Rights of 1689. ~ Wikipedia

The Week

Arizona is accused of botching an execution, the FAA lifts a ban on flights to Israel, and more

1. Arizona inmate gasps for 90 minutes during execution
Arizona inmate Joseph Wood gasped for breath for an hour and a half before being pronounced dead by lethal injection on Wednesday. Wood’s attorneys, who had requested more information about the new lethal drug combination the state planned to use, called it a “bungled execution.”Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who called for a review of the execution, said Wood didn’t suffer, but the two people he killed died “gruesome, vicious” deaths. [CNN]


2. FAA lifts ban on flights to Israel
The Federal Aviation Administration lifted its ban on U.S. flights to Israel’s main airport in Tel Aviv late Wednesday despite continued fighting between Israel and Hamas. The FAA said a review determined Israel had taken steps to “mitigate potential risks to civil aviation” after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed a mile from the airport. The ban had stranded thousands of Israelis overseas. [Los Angeles Times]


3. Leader says Ukrainian separatists had powerful surface-to-air missile
A Ukrainian rebel leader, Alexander Khodakovsky confirmed that pro-Russian separatists had the kind of anti-aircraft missile the U.S. says downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board last week. The main separatist group — the People’s Republic of Donetsk — has denied ever having such a missile. Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down over rebel-held territory on Wednesday. [Reuters]


4. Colorado’s gay-marriage ban declared unconstitutional… again
A federal judge declared Colorado’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional on Wednesday, but stayed the decision until Aug. 25 to give state Attorney General John Suthers time to appeal. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore marked the fourth loss for Suthers in two weeks as he tries to preserve the ban. Moore said overturning the ban won’t hurt the state, but same-sex couples “suffer irreparable harm” if it stays in place. [The Denver Post]


5. Teen pilot dies in crash on trip around the world
Indiana teenager Haris Suleman died when the plane he was piloting around the world to raise money for charity crashed in the Pacific Ocean after taking off for Hawaii from American Samoa, his family said Wednesday. The boy’s father — Babar Suleman, 58 — was flying with him and remained missing. Daughter Hiba Suleman said the family is hopeful he is still alive. [Indianapolis Star]


6. Plane disappears in West Africa
An Air Algerie passenger plane disappeared from radar over West Africa with 116 people on board on Thursday. The McDonnell Douglas MD-83, which had been chartered by Spain’s Swiftair, had taken off from Burkino Faso on a flight to Algiers. A day earlier, a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane crashed attempting an emergency landing during a thunderstorm on an island off Taiwan, killing 48 people. [NBC News, The Wall Street Journal]


7. Tsarnaev friend arrested with gun linked to police officer’s killing
A friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested this week on drug charges, and police said he also had in his possession the handgun used to kill MIT police Officer Sean Collier during the manhunt after the bombing. Police believe the man, Stephen Silva, had given the gun to the Tsarnaev brothers. Silva reportedly told police he smoked marijuana daily “because my best friend was the bomber.” [The Boston Globe]


8. Senator faces questions about possible plagiarism in his master’s thesis
Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.), a decorated Iraq war veteran, is under investigation for possible plagiarism after a New York Times analysis uncovered numerous passages from his United States Army War College that were identical to works published previously by other authors. Walsh said he had not intentionally copied anyone’s work, and was under treatment for post-traumatic stress at the time. The War College is investigating. [The New York Times]


9. Last Washington mudslide victim’s body identified
Authorities have identified the last body found in the Oso, Washington, mudslide as that of Kris Regelbrugge, the 43rd victim. Regelbrugge was in her home with her husband, Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, when it was buried in the March 22 mudslide. John Regelbrugge’s body was among the 42 recovered earlier. The active search ended in April, but workers found Kris Regelbrugge’s body in an area where some of her family’s effects had been uncovered. [The Associated Press]


10. Insurers to refund customers $332 million under the Affordable Care Act
Health insurance companies are expected to refund customers $332 million this year under a provision in ObamaCare designed to prevent insurers from overcharging their customers, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Thursday. The payments, which might simply be applied to future premiums, will bring to $1.9 billion the total amount refunded since the rule took effect in 2011. [The Huffington Post]

Poll: GOP couldn’t live on minimum wage, but still won’t raise it

Protesters advocate for a raise in the minimum wage at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Albany, N.Y.

Protesters advocate for a raise in the minimum wage at the Capitol on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, in Albany, N.Y. Photo by Mike Groll/AP


A vast majority of Republicans say they would not be able to live off the current federal minimum wage, but they still don’t support raising it, according to a new poll released Tuesday.

The research, conducted by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling, finds 69% of Republicans say they don’t think it’s feasible for them to make a living off the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. And the feeling is bipartisan with 80% of Democrats and 74% of Independents sharing the same sentiment.

However, it does not appear to change the GOP’s stance. According to the poll, just 37% of Republicans say they support a raise to the minimum wage; nearly 3 in 4 Democrats back a hike. Overall, more than half of the respondents, 54%, back President Obama’s proposal for a higher minimum wage.

Strong Democratic support for raising the minimum wage is not surprising. In April, Senate Democrats introduced legislation that would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, but it failed, 54-42. The proposal needed 60 votes needed to move forward. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was the only member of the GOP to break ranks and support the measure. Even if the Senate vote has succeeded, the future of any Democratic-proposed bill to raise the minimum wage had a dismal outlook. House Republican leaders have said they would not debate legislation unless it included job training programs.

Some 28 million American workers would have seen more money in their paychecks if Congress would approve an increase to the minimum wage, according to Sen. Tom Harkin’s office – the lead sponsor of this year’s bill. Sen. Harkin’s office also says the federal government would save $4.6 billion annually from people no longer relying on food stamps.

The poll findings comes after the launch of a new campaign, “Live the Wage,” which challenges lawmakers to literally live off the minimum wage. Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH), now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has so far been joined by Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Keith Ellison (D-MN). Americans United for Change, the group behind the move, are asking top Republicans, namely House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to join, but the lawmakers have not yet responded.

Data released last week from the Labor Department contradicts a long-held Republican view that raising the minimum wage can deter job growth and stunt small businesses. Job growth has risen by.85% in the 13 states where lawmakers upped the minimum wage this year, while the average in the other 37 states is .61%. But economists say the increase in the minimum wage is likely just one of many factors that contributed to job growth and not the sole factor in the job market spur.

The PPP poll surveyed 801 registered voters from July 18 to July 20. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.5%.