Marco Rubio

Sean Hannity gets schooled on immigration: “People won’t vote for a candidate who will deport your father”

Sean Hannity gets schooled on immigration: "People won't  vote for a candidate who will deport your father"

Sean Hannity (Credit: Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com)

Salon

The Fox News host is confused why Hispanic Americans don’t like the GOP. Fusion’s Jorge Ramos sets him straight

Last night, Sean Hannity spoke to Fusion host Jorge Ramos about why the Hispanic community refuses to back Republican candidates who share their cultural identity like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

He began by asking Ramos why we don’t hear much about how historic a Rubio or Cruz presidency would be. Ramos answered that, on the one hand, both senators are choosing to follow Barack Obama in not making his race an issue in the election, and on the other, both Rubio and Cruz are Republicans of Cuban descent, whereas the majority of Latinos are of Mexican descent and vote Democratic.

A slightly confused Hannity replied by saying that he doesn’t believe in identity politics, only to characterize Latinos as people who share conservative values he identifies with: “hard work, family values, conservative on social issues, deep faith, love of country.”

Ramos replied that “it’s immigration,” because “Latinos cannot see beyond immigration right now. It’s a very simple concept, Sean — people won’t vote for a candidate who will deport your father, your friends, your colleagues, and your students.”

Hannity detailed the draconian immigration policies of Mexico and Australia, then asked Ramos why it is that if you enter Mexico illegally from a Central American country, you’re immediately thrown in jail or deported.

“It’s awful,” Ramos replied, confounding Hannity’s expectations, “how they treat Central Americans in Mexico.”

Ramos then applauded America as being “an exceptional country, an immigrant country,” which caused Hannity to try talking over him, repeatedly saying “it’s not an illegalimmigrant country.”

Ramos went on to discuss the billions of dollars that immigrants — including undocumented ones — contribute to the United States economy, but all Hannity wanted to talk about were the problems that he believes they cause. “There’s the criminal element!” he said, before returning to the topic at hand — the possibility that the Republicans might have a Hispanic nominee for president.

“What I’m saying,” Ramos tried to conclude, “is that if Cruz and Rubio choose not to support immigration reform,” but Hannity cut him off and again appealed to identity politics.

“Even if it’s the first Hispanic American president?” he asked. “Wow.”

10 things you need to know today: April 14, 2015

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Week

1.Marco Rubio joins presidential race calling for new leaders
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) formally entered the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, promising in a Miami rally to help lead the way to “a new American century.” The 43-year-old Rubio, who rose from the West Miami City Commission to the race for the White House in just 12 years, said it was time to break from the past, an apparent reference to GOP rival and former mentor Jeb Bush, and newly declared Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “Yesterday is over,” he said, “and we are never going back.”

Source: The Miami Herald

2.Blackwater security contractors get stiff sentences for Iraq killings
A federal judge on Monday sentenced four former Blackwater Worldwide guards to 30 years to life in prison for a 2007 shooting that killed 14 unarmed Iraqis at a Baghdad traffic circle. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Nicholas A. Slatten — the only one convicted of murder — to life, and gave the other three security contractors 30 years for multiple counts of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter. The defendants said they would appeal what one called a “perversion of justice.”

Source: The Washington Post

3.Russia ends hold on selling air-defense system to Iran
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted a self-imposed ban on the sale of advanced S-300 defensive missile systems to Iran. Putin’s predecessor had put a hold on such sales in 2010 under pressure from the U.S. and Israel. Russia is strapped for cash now because of falling oil prices and sanctions over Ukraine, and lifting the ban clears the way for an $800 million swap of Russian goods for Iranian oil. The KremlinTuesday confirmed the deal was being implemented. The U.S. said the move could further destabilize the Middle East.

Source: Reuters, Voice of America

4.Jodi Arias sentenced to life in prison for boyfriend’s murder
Jodi Arias was sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering her ex-boyfriend out of jealousy, concluding a salacious case that has attracted global attention for nearly seven years. The sisters of the victim, Travis Alexander, had called for the harshest penalty available to Judge Sherry Stephens. They said Arias was “unrepentant” and “evil.” A jury deadlocked on whether to sentence Arias, 34, to death, taking capital punishment off the table.

Source: The Associated Press

5.Tulsa reserve deputy charged with manslaughter
Tulsa reserve deputy sheriff Robert Bates, 73, was charged Monday with second-degree manslaughter in the death of an unarmed black suspect. Bates, a volunteer, said he thought he was holding his Taser when he fired the fatal shot after another officer tackled the suspect, Eric Courtney Harris, 44, as he fled the scene of a drug and guns sting. The case has fueled anger over a series of fatal shootings of unarmed black men by white officers. Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz said Bates, a longtime friend, “made an error.”

Source: USA Today

6.Capital punishment off the table for North Charleston officer
A white police officer, Michael Slager, will not face the death penalty for the killing of an black man, Walter Scott, after a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina, a prosecutor said Monday. Slager was charged with murder after he shot Scott eight times in the back as he ran away. The case reignited protests over excessive force against African Americans that followed the fatal shootings of unarmed black men by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. The prosecutor said there were no “aggravating circumstances” to justify the death penalty.

Source: Reuters

7.Iraqi leader and Obama to discuss combating ISIS
Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is meeting with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday to personally appeal for increased military aid, including drones and other weapons, to use in the fight against the Islamic State. “We, in Iraq, are fighting terrorists on the ground,” Abadi said before leaving Baghdad. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that if Abadi makes specific requests the U.S. would “obviously consider them seriously.”

Source: Voice of America, Reuters

8.Seattle company raises its minimum wage to $70,000 a year
The owner of a Seattle credit-card processing firm has taken the debate over the minimum wage to a higher level by raising the salaries for his 120 workers from an average of $48,000 to $70,000 a year, minimum, over the next three years. Dan Price of Gravity Payments came up with the money for the move by lowering his own take-home pay from $1 million to $70,000, and pumping profits back into the company. Price explained the move by saying that the gap between the pay of CEOs and workers is “ridiculous, it’s absurd.”

Source: The New York Times

9. Diplomats call for removal of heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine
Foreign ministers from Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany have to urge all sides to withdraw heavy weapons, including tanks and artillery, from still-contested areas in eastern Ukraine, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said early Tuesday. The diplomats said the pullback was necessary to support a shaky ceasefire that has held since late February, despite allegations that both the Ukrainian Army and pro-Russian separatists have violated its terms.

Source: The New York Times

10.Scientists find signs of briny water on Mars
Mars may have water after all thanks to its super salty soil, according to research published this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. Using data collected by NASA’s Curiosity rover, researchers concluded that salt in Mars’ soil lowers the freezing point of water just enough to allow small amounts of liquid to condense below the planet’s surface at night; in the morning, as temperatures rise, it evaporates. Temperatures are so low on Mars, however, that the scientists say it still cannot sustain life.

Source: Discovery News, The Guardian

How Rand Paul bombed at Koch brothers gathering

Sen. Rand Paul is pictured. | Getty

“Jeans might work for a younger audience,” said one attendee, “but these are old bulls who put on a tie every day to go to the office.” | Getty

Politico

His laid-back style turns off big money donors.

Some of the most influential players in big-money conservative politics gathered late last month to discuss government’s role in society, but their focus kept shifting to a less weighty topic: Rand Paul’s outfit.

The Kentucky senator and prospective GOP presidential candidate — whose libertarian politics mesh with those of the billionaire megadonor brothers Charles and David Koch — appeared at the annual winter meeting of the Koch donor network wearing a boxy blue blazer, faded jeans and cowboy boots.

Some attendees commented that Paul’s appearance was “cavalier,” said Frayda Levin, a Paul supporter and major donor who attended the conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Rancho Mirage, California. It was organized by Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the nonprofit hubthat oversees the Koch network. “This is an older crowd and much more establishment crowd. They are used to a Romney. They are used to a Jeb Bush,” Levin said.

“Jeans might work for a younger audience,” said another attendee, “but these are old bulls who put on a tie every day to go to the office.”

The sartorial criticisms hint at a potentially more serious challenge for Paul — securing the backing of enough big-money donors to be competitive in a crowded Republican primary that could include prolific fundraisers such as Jeb Bush and Chris Christie.

During a Sunday afternoon speech at the Koch forum , Paul drew skepticism among some donors by touting tax breaks as a means of spurring economic growth in blighted inner cities. That stance is anathema to the brand of small-government conservatism espoused by the industrialist brothers and many of their network’s donors, who object to marketplace interference. Even Levin admitted she was “a bit surprised. But he’s just exploring ideas right now. People didn’t quite understand where he was coming from.”

Donors were further put off by Paul’s performance later that evening in a forum for prospective GOP presidential candidates that also featured Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas. At times slouching in a cushy arm chair, Paul, with his legs crossed, gave rambling answers that contrasted sharply with other participants.

At one point, he opposed eliminating tax benefits to the oil and gas industry — from which Koch Industries, the brothers’ multi-national conglomerate, benefits but which the brothers philosophically oppose. Paul seemed less prepared than Rubio, who gave detailed answers and was by far the most sharply turned out of the trio (pressed Navy blue suit, crisp white shirt, red tie and American flag lapel pin). Cruz, tieless in a light blue shirt and tan sports coat, laced his remarks with one-liners.

The next day, when 100 donors participated in an informal straw poll conducted by veteran consultant Frank Luntz, Paul finished dead last. Rubio came in first, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who stopped by the conference, but could not make it for the panel.

Paul’s spokesman Sergio Gor noted the event was mostly off the record (though the forum was streamed live online) and said his office wouldn’t comment on specifics. But, he added “we can assure you Sen. Rand Paul made great inroads with countless individuals who attended the event. His individual meetings with attendees proved very, very fruitful and he was well-received by the hosts. Finally, since the event was closed to the press, it is impossible for any reporter to accurately reflect the opinion of 300 attendees.”

Still, several attendees characterized Paul’s performance as a missed opportunity for him to significantly broaden his base of megadonor support headed into a presidential election in which the two major party nominees and their allies are expected to spend upward of $1.7 billion apiece.

Big-money support is seen as a key weakness for Paul, much as it was for the presidential campaigns of his father, former Texas Rep. Ron Paul. While there are key differences between father and son in both style and substance, major donors still look skeptically upon both Pauls’ brands of libertarian-infused conservatism — particularly their noninterventionist foreign policies.

Supporters argue that Rand Paul, who has opened offices in Silicon Valley and Austin, can overcome that by looking outside the traditional GOP megadonor community

“Mainstream donors were never his primary target. He is bringing in guys from Silicon Valley, from the tech world, who were never comfortable with the Republican Party,” Levin said, describing Paul’s donor base as “transpolitical.”

Indeed, Paul has met with a number of tech tycoons who defy party labels, such as Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder and early investor in Facebook and LinkedIn, who gave more than $2.7 million to super PACs supporting Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential campaign; Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg; PayPal board member Scott Banister; Joe Lonsdale, founder of Palantir who is considered a Thiel protégé. Napster co-founder Sean Parker, who has waded increasingly into national politicsin recent months, donated $5,000 to Paul’s leadership PAC in November, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Paul might not raise the most, but he will have necessary donor support, said Aleix Jarvis, one of the few Paul backers among the K-Street lobbying world of Washington. “Money is not going to be a problem for him,” said Jarvis, a lobbyist at Fierce Government Relations. “It won’t match what Jeb does, but I think that’s an advantage in Rand’s mind.”

Yet with mixed results, Paul has continued to try to court allies among the traditional megadonor community.

During a 2013 major donor summit organized by the Karl Rove-conceived American Crossroads super PAC, Paul was aggressively challenged on whether he would support a military strike on Iran if it became apparent that the regime had enough uranium to build a bomb.

The Freedom Partners conference seemed like fertile turf for Paul, given that Paul’s libertarian sensibilities align closely with the Koch brothers and some of their key donors.

In fact, Charles Koch is thought to favor Paul most among all the prospective 2016 candidates. And Paul has traveled to Koch’s home turf of Wichita to court him, playing at least one round of golf with the 79-year-old billionaire. (Paul’s PAC late last year paid $406 to Koch Industries for a “golf expense” according to a recent campaign finance filing).

Some have viewed Charles Koch as a bridge to other network donors. The Koch network intends to spend $889 million in the run-up to the 2016 election on a combination of political organizing and advertising, as well as academic research and advocacy on free-enterprise issues. While the brothers and their network have not said whether they will try to influence the GOP presidential primary, the political world is closely watching its every interaction with prospective candidates.

Some conference attendees say Paul was well-received in a small group break-out session on one of Koch’s key issues — criminal justice reform.

But when Paul defended his noninterventionist positions in response to a question on Cuba at the candidate forum, sources say he got mixed results from the Koch donor network, which has become increasingly diverse and now includes several donors who are more aligned with the hawkish GOP orthodoxy on foreign policy.

Asked about his support for President Barack Obama’s move to normalize relations with the communist island nation, Paul said “We’ve tried an embargo for 50 years. It hasn’t worked. The reason I call it a form of isolationism is if you apply the embargo … if you do that for China, for Vietnam, for Laos, for any of the other countries that have human rights abuses, that would be a policy of isolationism.”

Levin conceded that Paul’s foreign policy isn’t for everyone. “That’s what differentiates him. I don’t think he came across as extreme libertarian. Rand Paul just thinks we can’t patrol the world,” she said. As for the Rancho Mirage, she said “I don’t think it was a missed opportunity. He tried to court them, but there are some issues — some key issues — that he’s not going to back down on.”

The Kochs Plan to Buy the 2016 Election for $889 Million

Charles Koch | Attribution: None

PoliticusUSA

The New York Times calls it $900 million. The Washington Post“nearly $1 billion.” CNN simply calls it “staggering.” Ben Ray, spokesperson for Democratic-aligned American Bridge put it best, telling USAToday: “What an obscene amount of money.”

The actual amount announced Monday at the Rancho Mirage Ritz Carlton is $889 million, and that is what the Koch brothers’ political network (17 Koch-funded organizations) plans to spend buying the 2016 elections for corporate America and the 1 percent.

It is, as CNN informs us, “[M]ore money than any private network has ever spent on an election cycle.” It is also as much as either the Republicans or Democrats spend: Compare this to the $675 million spent by the Republican Party in 2012. And the Kochs can spend the money however they want, unlike the RNC.

How much money is that? With a budget of $20 per person you could feed nearly 50 million people better meals than most of them have ever had for one day.

If you go by the approximately $3 the USDA reimburses schoolsfor free student lunches, that $889 million would feed 296 million children. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service said 21 million kids received free or reduced-price lunches in 2013. You do the math.

Oxfam has already announced to the world that the “Richest 1 percent will own more than the rest by 2016.” Apparently, that isn’t enough for the Kochs. They’ve got to have their own country, too.

As The Washington Post reported,

The massive financial goal was revealed to donors during an annual winter meeting here hosted by Freedom Partners, the tax-exempt business lobby that serves as the hub of the Koch-backed political operation, according to an attendee. The amount is more than double the $407 million that 17 allied groups in the network raised during the 2012 campaign.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) were all on hand at the Koch’s retreat for seminars and strategy sessions, greedily rubbing their fingers in anticipation. Not coincidentally, Newsmax tells us that,

Most of the 450 who attended the weekend event weren’t interested in another Mitt Romney run. They leaned more toward Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

What we can take from Charles Koch’s welcome speechSaturday, is that the Big Lie is alive and well in the Koch family: “Americans have taken an important step in slowing down the march toward collectivism,” he said. Of course, collectivism is not a threat and the Kochs are huge corporate welfare queens, more than happy to take our tax dollars from the federal government they excoriate.

Like his bought men, Walker, Rubio, Paul, and Cruz, Charles Koch is simply inventing threats out of whole cloth, and reassured guests and employees both,

But as many of you know, we don’t rest on our laurels. We are already back at work and hard at it! In fact, the work never really ends. Because the struggle for freedom never ends.

He claimed that,

Much of our efforts to date have been largely defensive to slow down a government that continues to swell and become more intrusive – causing our culture to deteriorate. Making this vision a reality will require more than a financial commitment. It requires making it a central part of their lives.

So the Kochs are presenting themselves as defenders of American culture now. This, from a man so far removed from American culture he cannot begin to imagine an average American’s life. Yet he claims to be defending our culture. This is the point of Koch’s speech at which the Greek gods would begin casting lightning bolts, for hubris was always mankind’s greatest sin.

Just keep in mind, that freedom he is talking about is serfdom for you and me.

The impact of this amount of money cannot be ignored. As Ben Ray of American Bridge put it, “If they are spending more than the RNC, I know exactly who the (Republican) presidential candidates will listen to.”

And even Grover Norquist told The Washington Post that, “It’s not like a Chicago political boss where Charles would say, ‘We’re all for this guy.’ But if he said, ‘I really like this guy’ and did an op-ed, it would matter.”

Which means Mother Jones is not engaging in mere hyperbole when they say, “It’s official: The Kochs and their rich friends are the new third party.”

Democrats, who have neither a plethora of corporations nor a bevy of 1 percenters to fund their campaigns, will have to work a lot harder to find that kind of cash. Of course, Democrat money will reflect the views of actual Americans rather than the insatiable appetites of the 1 percent.

According to the Post, “The $889 million goal reflects the budget goals of all the allied groups that the network funds. Those resources will go into field operations, new technology and policy work, among other projects.”

The one thing a billion dollars can’t buy are a viable platform or likeable candidates. It remains to be seen whether it is enough to convince blacks, Latinos, women and others that the Republican Party actually cares about them.

But make no mistake: this represents a full-scale assault on American democracy. Ted Cruz was quoted as saying Sunday night that, “There are a bunch of Democrats who have taken as their talking points that the Koch brothers are the nexus of all evil in the world.” He said that thinking is “grotesque and offensive.”

While you have to respect Cruz’s loyalty to his owners, he is wrong. What is grotesque and offensive is what he and his fellow employees of Koch Industries have been up to at the Rancho Mirage Ritz Carlton: plotting the murder of American democracy.

Kos’ Sunday Talk – December 21, 2014

Daily Kos

Meet The Press: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Others TBD.

Face The Nation: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); Jeffrey Goldberg (The Atlantic).

This Week: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Roundtable: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Republican Strategist Ana Navarro and Cokie Roberts (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)'; Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD); Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Judy Woodruff (PBS), Sociopath Liz Cheney and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: President Barack Obama; Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro address their nations.

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro address their nations | AP Photo

The Week

Obama reestablishes diplomatic relations with Cuba, a judge throws out the conviction of a boy executed in 1944, and more

1. Obama announces historic diplomatic thaw with Cuba
The U.S. and Cuba announced Wednesday that they would reestablish diplomatic relations after a half-century rift that began in the Cold War. “Isolation has not worked,” Obama said. “It’s time for a new approach.” The decision followed 18 months of secret talks, and Cuba’s Wednesday release of U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross, who had been held by the communist Caribbean government for five years. Conservatives in Congress vowed to fight the easing of sanctions. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the rapprochement amounted to “coddling dictators.” [The Washington Post, Fox News]

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2. Judge vacates conviction of boy executed in 1944
A judge has thrown out the conviction of a 14-year-old African-American boy named George Stinney who was executed 70 years ago for allegedly killing two white girls. Stinney, the youngest person executed in the U.S. since the 19th century, was convicted in 10 minutes by 12 white jurors after a three-hour trial in which no witness or evidence was presented in his defense. Circuit Judge Carmen Tevis Mullen said his confession was likely coerced and his trial was unfair. “I can think of no greater injustice,” Mullen said. [CNN, The Associated Press]

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3. New York bans fracking
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial natural-gas extraction method also known as fracking. Despite calls by environmentalists for a ban, Cuomo, a Democrat, had put off a decision as he awaited the results of a long-awaited study, which was just completed. The acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, said the research found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. [The New York Times]

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4. Stocks surge as the Fed signals patience on raising interest rates
U.S. stocks posted their biggest daily gains of 2014 on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled that it was moving confidently but cautiously toward raising historically low interest rates next year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that with the economy picking up but still needing improvement, the central bank would be “patient” and wait “at least a couple of meetings” before pushing interest rates higher, which would mean the hike could come in April or later. [MarketWatch]

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5. Nigerian soldiers sentenced to die for refusing to fight Boko Haram
A Nigerian army court on Wednesday convicted 54 soldiers of mutiny and cowardice for refusing to fight Boko Haram, and sentenced them to death. The soldiers were members of the Nigerian army’s 7th Division, which was ordered in August to retake three towns that had been seized by the Islamist militant group. Many of the African nation’s soldiers have complained that they are being sent to fight Boko Haram without adequate weapons and supplies. [Voice of America]

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6. Jury rejects Montana man’s “stand your ground” defense in student’s death
A Montana jury on Wednesday convicted Markus Kaarma, 30, for the killing of a 17-year-old exchange student he caught in his garage, rejecting the homeowner’s “stand your ground” defense. Kaarma argued that he was only defending himself after a string of burglaries. Prosecutors said he had invited intruders by intentionally leaving his garage door open, then blasted the student — Diren Dede of Germany — with a shotgun when he snuck in on April 27, looking for alcohol. [USA Today]

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7. Church of England picks its first female bishop
The Church of England on Wednesday named its first female bishop, breaking with a tradition that had been uninterrupted since the church broke with Rome under King Henry VIII five centuries ago. “This is unexpected and very exciting,” the newly nominated bishop, the Rev. Libby Lane, said, calling the move “historic.” Lane has been a priest for 20 years. Her husband, George, also is a priest — they were one of the first married couples ordained together. She will be consecrated Jan. 26. [The New York Times, The Guardian]

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8. Scientists say inmates might have survived 1962 escape from Alcatraz
Three men who escaped the famous Alcatraz island prison in 1962 might have survived, according to a study released Wednesday by Dutch scientists. Investigators at the time said the prisoners, brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris, died trying to cross the cold waters of San Francisco Bay, but their bodies were never found. The scientists, however, found in simulated boat launches that currents might have deposited the men north of the Golden Gate Bridge — instead of sweeping them to their deaths in the Pacific — if they left between 11 p.m. and midnight. [The Associated Press]

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9. Actor Stephen Collins breaks his silence on abuse allegations
In an interview due for release on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins admitted to Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric that he sexually abused three female children decades ago. The allegations surfaced two months ago with the leak of audio recordings in which Collins tells his ex-wife about the encounters. Collins, who earlier broke his silence in an interview with People magazine, told Couric that the last offense occurred in 1994, and that he had “done everything to address” his transgressions in private, and had “put that stuff behind me.” [ABC News]

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10. Sony Pictures cancels release of film that angered North Korea
Sony Pictures said Wednesday it was canceling the planned Dec. 25 release of the controversial filmThe Interview as top theater chains balked at showing it. The decisions came after an anonymous threat against anyone screening the film, a comedy that stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, and depicts a plot against North Korea’s leader. The group claimed responsibility for a massive computer hacking attack against Sony Pictures. U.S. officials say North Korea was behind the hacking. [Chicago Tribune]

Sunday Talk: We’re not in Kansas anymore… or are we?

Daily Kos

With only two months remaining until the 2014 midterm elections, and Republicans predicting a GOP wave, Democrats are in a state of panic!!!!President Obama—who doesn’t possess the heart, brain, or courage of his predecessor—is not expected togrant illegal immigrants voting rightsbefore the elections, leaving Democrats a few Mexicans short of a fiesta.

Increasingly desperate to retain their majority in the Senate (so as to prevent Obama’s impeachment), they’re now trying something that’s so crazy it just might worknot running candidates.

Then again, it might not.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: President Barack Obama; Others TBD.Face The Nation: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD); War Criminal Henry Kissinger; Roundtable: Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), David Ignatius (Washington Post) and Peter Baker (New York Times)

This Week: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Rep. Peter King (R-NY); Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA);Roundtable: William Kristol (Weekly Standard), Matt Bai (Yahoo News), Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile and Jonathan Karl (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney; Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News),Julie Pace (Associated Press), George Will (Washington Post) and Bob Woodward(Washington Post).

State of the Union: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Rep.Tony Cárdenas (D-CA); 9/11 Anniversary Roundtable: Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter (D), Boston, MA Mayor Marty Walsh (D) and San Diego, CA Mayor Kevin Faulconer (R); Political Roundtable: Former House Speaker New Gingrich (R-GA), S.E. Cupp (CNN), LZ Granderson (ESPN) and Democratic Strategist Maria Cardona.

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report on BP’s complaints over the way its agreement to compensate victims of its Gulf oil spill is being interpreted (preview); a report on Briton Nicholas Winton, who helped save hundreds of mostly Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia on the eve of the war (preview); and, an interview with “Quarterback Guru” Steve Clarkson (preview).

13 Republican Climate Deniers Who Want to Be President

imgur

This is some important information for those on the fence trying to figure out who to choose as the next Republican Presidential candidate in 2016…

Mother Jones

This story originally appeared on Grist and is republished here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

It’s hard to believe, surveying the GOP field of possible presidential nominees, but back in 2008 the parties were not that far apart on climate change. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, backed cap-and-trade for carbon emissions. After joining his ticket, so did Sarah Palin. But back then, lots of Republicans and conservatives also supported an individual mandate to buy health insurance. The Republican Party of 2008 was a big enough tent to include people who admitted demonstrable problems existed and supported free-market-oriented solutions. Not anymore. The rise of the Tea Party movement and the rightward shift of the Republican base and the politicians who pander to it put an end to all that. Whoever is the Republican nominee for president in 2016, it’s a safe bet that he—and yes, it will be a he, as all the leading contenders are male—will oppose taking any action on climate change. Chances are that he won’t even admit it exists.

The Republicans basically fall into four categories: (1) Flat-Earthers, who deny the existence of manmade climate change; (2) Born-Again Flat-Earthers, who do the same, but who had admitted climate change exists back before President Obama took office; (3) Do-Nothings, who sort of admit the reality of climate change but oppose actually taking any steps to prevent it; and (4) Dodgers, who have avoided saying whether they believe climate change is happening, and who also don’t want to take any steps to alleviate it. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker fall into the latter category. The Do-Nothings are blue and purple state governors, Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio. In a sign of how far rightward Republicans have moved since 2008, these are actually the guys who are trying to position themselves as relatively moderate and pragmatic. The Born-Agains are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Both are staunch conservatives but only partial wingnuts. Back when that meant believing in climate change, they did, but they have since followed their base into fantasyland. Everyone else is an outright denier and always has been.

Here’s our full breakdown of all 13 of the top potential hopefuls, including their lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters if they served in Congress. No, we did not include Donald Trump even though he would probably lead in the polls if he ran. And alas, we cannot predict who might be the next Herman Cain. MaybePapa John? If he, or any other pizza moguls, run, we’ll add an update.

Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida

Category: Flat-Earther

While President George W. Bush never did anything about global warming, his brother goes further, by not even admitting it exists. In 2009, Jeb Bush toldEsquire, “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist. I think the science has been politicized. I would be very wary of hollowing out our industrial base even further… It may be only partially man-made. It may not be warming by the way. The last six years we’ve actually had mean temperatures that are cooler. I think we need to be very cautious before we dramatically alter who we are as a nation because of it.” Last year, he talked about how generating power with natural gas instead of coal would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but he avoided actually saying the C-word or mentioning why reducing emissions would be a good thing.

Notable quote: “I think global warming may be real.… It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately manmade. What I get a little tired of on the left is this idea that somehow science has decided all this so you can’t have a view.” (2011)

Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey

Category: Do-Nothing

Compared to all of his competitors, Christie’s position on climate change is refreshingly reality-based. In 2011, he said: “There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade, average temperatures have been rising. Temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate…when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.” Other than the fact that he understated the scientific consensus—it’s more like 97 or 98 percent—there isn’t much to find fault with there. But if you think that means Christie will back action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, think again. On the same day he made those comments, he withdrew New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program for Northeastern energy utilities, complaining that it was “nothing more than a tax on electricity.” He also rolled back his state’s renewable energy goal, from 30 percent by 2021 to 22.5 percent. And the Christie administration conspicuously does not mention climate change in the context of Sandy recovery.

Notable quote: “I haven’t been shown any definitive proof yet that [climate change] is what caused [Sandy]. And this is just, listen, this is a distraction. I’ve got a place to rebuild here and people want to talk to me about esoteric theories.” (2013)

Ted Cruz, senator from Texas

Category: Flat-Earther

Cruz—a high school valedictorian, Princeton alum, and editor of the Harvard Law Review—is supposed to be smart. His grasp of climate science, however, leaves much to be desired. In a February interview with CNN, Cruz deployed classic, bogus GOP talking points about climate change. “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened,” said Cruz. “You know, back in the ’70s—I remember the ’70s, we were told there was global cooling. And everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem. And then that faded.” There has, in fact, been global warming in the last 15 years. And it is not true that in the 1970s “everyone was told global cooling was a really big problem.”

Notable quote: “Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.” (2014)

LCV score: 15 percent

Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas

Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther

In 2007, when all the cool kids were for cap-and-trade, so was Huckabee. He said, “One thing that all of us have a responsibility to do is recognize that climate change is here, it’s real.… I also support cap-and-trade of carbon emissions. And I was disappointed that the Senate rejected a carbon counting system to measure the sources of emissions, because that would have been the first and the most important step toward implementing true cap-and-trade.” But Huckabee totally flip-flopped after the rise of the Tea Party and anti-Obamaism reshaped the GOP. In 2010, he even denied that he ever had supported cap-and-trade. “This kind of mandatory energy policy would have a horrible impact on this nation’s job market,” he wrote in a blog post. “I never did support and never would support it—period.” By 2013, he was hosting climate-denier-in-chief Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) on his radio show to spread falsehoods. Among the ones Huck contributed himself: “When I was in college, all the literature at that time from the scientific community said that we were going to freeze to death.”

Notable quote: “The volcano that erupted over in Northern Europe [in 2010] actually poured more CO2 into the air in that single act of nature than all of humans have in something like the past 100 years.” (2013) Actually, no, it didn’t.)

Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana

Category: Dodger

Jindal was supposed to be the great hope of smart Republicans. He majored in biology at Brown, was a Rhodes scholar, and he famously declared, “We’ve got to stop being the stupid party.” But he’s done his fair share of dumbing down the GOP. As Brown biology professor Kenneth R. Miller wrote in Slate, “In [Jindal’s] rise to prominence in Louisiana, he made a bargain with the religious right and compromised science and science education for the children of his state.” He signed into law the Louisiana Science Education Act, which “allows ‘supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials’ to be brought into classrooms to support the ‘open and objective discussion’ of certain ‘scientific theories,'” such as evolution and climate change. In other words, he’s promoting creationism and climate change denialism in public schools. Still, Jindal has never come out and stated whether he accepts climate science.

Notable quote, on EPA’s proposal to regulate CO2 from power plants: “This is such a dangerous overreach in terms of the potential threat to our economy and our ability to restore those manufacturing jobs, I absolutely do think litigation needs to be on the table.” (2014)

LCV score: 6 percent

John Kasich, governor of Ohio

Category: Do-Nothing

In what passes for moderation in today’s GOP, Kasich actually acknowledges the existence of global warming. That doesn’t mean he wants to do much about it. “I happen to believe there is a problem with climate change. I don’t want to overreact to it, I can’t measure it all, but I respect the creation that the Lord has given us and I want to make sure we protect it,” Kasich said in 2012 at an energy conference hosted by The Hill. Ohio is rich in coal and heavily dependent on it for energy, and Kasich pledged to keep it that way, touting the promise of ever-elusive “clean coal.” In comments to reporters after that 2012 event, Kasich said he opposes EPA regulation of coal-fired power plants’ CO2 emissions: “I believe there is something to [climate change], but to be unilaterally doing everything here while China and India are belching and putting us in a noncompetitive position isn’t good.” Still, give him credit for evolving; in 2008, he claimed, “Global warming is cyclical, and the focus of a ferocious debate.”

Notable quote: “I am just saying that I am concerned about it, but I am not laying awake at night worrying the sky is falling.” (2012)

LCV score: 27 percent

Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky

Category: Flat-Earther

What makes Paul so scary is that he actually believes the crazy things he says. When your average Republican talks about small government, you know it’s all just code for “protecting the currently wealthy and their businesses.” So, if you could convince most GOP politicians that it’s in their political interest to take action on climate change, they could be moved. Paul isn’t like that. He is actually committed to his far-right, small-government ideology. He doesn’t even think, for example, that the federal government has the power to force businesses to racially integrate. So of course he doesn’t support action to address climate change, and he never will. When he’s trying to sound more mainstream, he says climate science is “not conclusive“; at other times, he caricatures the science of climate change to try to discredit it.

Notable quote: “If you listen to the hysterics…,you would think that the Statue of Liberty will shortly be under water and the polar bears are all drowning, and that we’re dying from pollution. It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.” (2011)

LCV score: 11 percent

Mike Pence, governor of Indiana

Category: Flat-Earther

Pence is an ultra-conservative who does not much care for environmental regulation. He also remains unconvinced that the Earth is warming. “In the mainstream media, there is a denial of the growing skepticism in the scientific community on global warming,” Pence claimed in a 2009 interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. It is not clear what “growing skepticism” he was referring to. In the same interview, Pence refused to say if he believes in evolution but implied that he does not.

Notable quote: “I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming.” (2009)

LCV score: 4 percent

 

Rick Perry

Rick Perry, governor of Texas

Category: Flat-Earther

Perry is no one’s idea of a man of science or an intellectual, not even his supporters’. Texas political insiders call him “Bush without the brains.” At Texas A&M, he got mostly Cs and Ds, even in gym, and an F in organic chemistry. When drought parched Texas in 2011, Perry’s solution was to call for three days of prayer for rain. Remarkably enough, that didn’t work. Perry, who is extremely close with polluters who donate to his campaigns, simply invents facts to suit his conviction that climate change isn’t happening. In 2011, he said, “I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.” The Washington Post fact-checker debunked this claim. Perry’s 2012 presidential run was disastrous, in part because he proved himself too dumbeven for Republican primary voters, which is sort of like being too white for Iceland. And yet, he is making noises about running again. And since Republican primary voters seem to get dumber with each election cycle, he could be a contender this time.

Notable quote: “I don’t believe man-made global warming is settled in science enough.” (2011)
 

Marco Rubio, senator from Florida

Category: Born-Again Flat-Earther

Like a lot of ambitious Republicans, Rubio tacitly accepted the science of climate change back in 2007. He talked up renewable energy and referred to global warming as one of the reasons to embrace it. By 2009, he had seen the error of his ways, saying, “There’s a significant scientific dispute” about climate change. By 2010, he was using his Republican primary opponent Charlie Crist‘s belief in “man-made global warming” as an attack line. In May 2014, Rubio made an inept effort to deny climate science, saying, “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activities.” Ah, merely “a handful of decades of research.” That’s nothing, right? After getting a lot of blowback for those comments, he tried to clarify and just dug himself in deeper.

Notable quote: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” (2014)

LCV score: 11 percent

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan, U.S. rep from Wisconsin

Category: Flat-Earther

Climate change can be a tough issue for someone who wants to present himself as a wonk, as Ryan so very badly does. To just ignore the science is to risk looking dumb. So, for Ryan, opposition to climate regulation is more about his intense opposition to economic regulation more generally. He constantly asserts that climate regulations, for example, would impose an enormous cost on our economy. Insofar as he discusses the underlying science of climate change, though, he tries to cast doubt on it, using a combination of phony concern for scientific accuracy and an even phonier regular-Midwestern-guy shtick. In a 2009op-ed, he devoted several paragraphs to the trumped-up scandal at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and suggested that climate change should be a low priority for Wisconsinites because it snows in their state in the winter, writing: “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” In July, while refusing to discuss the science of climate change, Ryan asserted that the EPA’s proposed power plant regulations are “obnoxious.” “I think they’re exceeding their authority and I think they kill jobs,” he said.

Notable quote: “[T]here is growing disagreement among scientists about climate change and its causes.” (2010)  LCV score: 13 percent

 

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania

Category: Flat-Earther

As you might expect from a religious extremist who once compared homosexuality to “man on dog,” Santorum’s beliefs on climate change are unapologetically ignorant. At least he can boast of having been consistent. As Politico noted of Santorum in 2011, “Unlike Romney and some of the other GOP presidential candidates, the former senator has never backed cap-and-trade legislation or other mandatory policies to curb greenhouse gases.” Santorum attacked Romney for admitting that climate change was happening, calling it “junk science” that was invented by liberals to gain greater control over the economy. And his May 2014 book calls climate change a “hyped-up crisis.”

Notable quote: “I for one never bought the hoax. I for one understand just from science that there are one hundred factors that influence the climate. To suggest that one minor factor of which man’s contribution is a minor factor in the minor factor is the determining ingredient in the sauce that affects the entire global warming and cooling is just absurd on its face.” (2012)

LCV score: 10 percent

Scott Walker

Eric Brown/Flickr

Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin

Category: Dodger

Walker is a favorite of the Koch brothers—he notoriously kissed ass during a call with a prankster pretending to be David Koch. The oil oligarchs like him because he opposes governmental regulations, except for when the regulation stymies clean energy. Walker imposed regulations to keep wind turbines further away from homes and signed a pledge never to pass a carbon tax. He has also raised money for the Heartland Institute, an organization that spreads climate misinformation. But he’s never actually said whether he accepts climate science.

Notable quote, criticizing his gubernatorial opponent for pushing climate legislation: “Governor [Jim] Doyle [D] has put his trust in international politicians, bureaucrats, celebrities and discredited scientists to replace the real manufacturing jobs Wisconsin is losing every day.” (2009)

 

GOP’s ’16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

GOP's '16 consolation vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the deep bench!

Elizabeth Warren, Ted Cruz (Credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts/AP)

Salon

After Romney’s 2012 loss, pundits raved about the GOP’s new leaders. But two years later, Democrats have the edge

In the wake of President Obama’s re-election in 2012, reporters found one soothing source of solace for the GOP. “One race the Republicans appear to be winning is the one for the deepest bench of rising stars,” wrote the Washington Post, and plenty of folks followed up. Democrats, meanwhile, had nobody on the bench but Hillary Clinton – a formidable candidate if she were to run, but that wasn’t even certain.

Beyond Clinton, there seemed to be a wasteland populated by ambitious governors no one had ever heard of (Martin O’Malley), some who were well known but not widely liked (Andrew Cuomo). Oh, and Brian Schweitzer.

The Republican list, meanwhile, seemed almost infinite: blue and purple state governors like New Jersey’s Chris Christie, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Ohio’s John Kasich and Virginia’s Bob McConnell, and Tea Party senators like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. Romney’s ambitious, “wonky” running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, had his fans, as did former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Even Texas Gov. Rick Perry, recovered from back surgery and sporting hot new glasses, could have another life in 2016.

But in two years, the situation has almost reversed itself. Promising GOP governors – McDonnell, Christie, Walker – find themselves dogged by scandal. The Tea Party trio of Paul, Cruz and Rubio still vies for media attention and right wing adoration, but Rubio’s immigration reform work doomed him on the right. Unbelievably, Paul is widely labeled the frontrunner (but don’t tell that to Cruz), while the party establishment and neocon hawks search for an alternative. Despite all that impressive talent, Mitt Romney leads the pack in New Hampshire.

Meanwhile, in what’s widely being reported as trouble for Hillary Clinton, because that’s the narrative the media know best, it turns out there are a bunch of popular and maybe even formidable Democrats. Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren wowed the crowd at Netroots Nation. (Check out this great New Yorker Biden profile if you want to know how the VP is keeping his options open). The Netroots buzz inspired the Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker and Robert Costa to survey the landscape of Democrats who’ve put a toe or more in the water for 2016.

We learned that Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is visiting Iowa (it is only one state away), while New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has a book coming out. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is said to be huddling with donors, believing the party could use a dose of red state common sense.

This is all framed as mildly ominous news for Hillary Clinton – the headline is “With liberals pining for a Clinton challenger, ambitious Democrats get in position” — but Klobuchar, Gillibrand and Nixon have all endorsed Clinton, and Warren has encouraged Clinton to run while insisting she won’t do so herself. The only Democrats listed who may still run even if Clinton does too are O’Malley and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

Regardless of the intent of the framing, the Rucker-Costa story actually pointed up the vitality in the Democratic Party, where lively debates over income inequality and foreign policy have so far fallen short of creating bitter divisions and factions, at least so far. Again, contrast that with the GOP, where Ted Cruz seems to be staking his 2016 hopes on his ability to humiliate every party leader and make sure Republicans will never make inroads with the Latino population. He’s blocking bipartisan emergency legislation to deal with the border crisis, and pushing to reverse President Obama’s deferred action on deportation for young people brought here by their parents.

Meanwhile Warren, the progressive elected the same time as Cruz, is touring the country campaigning for Democratic Senate candidates, even some who are more centrist than she is, like Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes and West Virginia’s Natalie Tennant.  She’s focused on growing the Democratic Party, not cutting down colleagues who are less progressive.

So: the GOP’s right wing firebrand is a loose cannon who is completely out for himself, while the Democrats’ left wing firebrand is working amiably with party leaders and deflecting talk of a primary challenge to Clinton. In the end, the rising number of possible alternatives to Hillary Clinton is a sign of Democratic strength, even if the media tends to bill it as weakness.

Kos’ Sunday Talk: Without qualification

Daily Kos’ Sunday Talk

In 1965, Bob Dylan famously said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Perhaps that was true at the time he said it, but the Timesthey have a-changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is the climate.

You don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Marco Rubio—he’s not a scientistman.

He’s also not a serious presidential contenderman—but that’s completely beside the point.

The point being, expertise is overrated.

I mean, Rush Limbaugh’s tenuous grasp of history didn’t prevent him from writing award-winning historical fanfiction.

And despite his lack of medical credentials, Karl Rove was able to diagnose Hillary Clinton with a traumatic brain injury (and not, as many suspected, the Benghazi flu).

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); RNC Chairman Reince Priebus; Rep.Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept); Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK).Face The Nation: Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I);  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner;  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R);  White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; National Commander of the American Legion Dan Delinger;  RoundtableJackie Calmes (New York Times), Jerry Seib (Wall Street Journal), Katrina Vanden Huevel (The Nation) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Tribute to Barbara Walters; Reddit Co-Founder Alexis OhanianBerin Szoka (Tech Freedom); Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Fox News Sunday: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and His Lovely Wife Lynne;   RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Kirsten Powers (USA Today), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Roundtable:  Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Amy Walter (Cook Political Report).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report from inside Iran as the prospect of a nuclear deal with world powers looms on the horizon (preview); a report on the 150-year history of the Capitol Dome (preview); and, a report on an orchestra in Paraguay that fashions musical instruments from refuse scavenged at a dump (preview).

 

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