What Reagan Missed: Other News of the Day
In honor of the last 30 Rock episode, the Daily Beast presents the 12 most absurd 30 Rock moments.
Now you can be a Barbie Girl too! Barbie Cafe opens in…wait for it… Taiwan! It had to be somewhere in Asia…
Syria tells Iran on Israel. Iran threatens to retaliate. Nothing good can come of this…
Think Glenn Beck can’t get any crazier? Take a visit to Libertypendence park!
Icelandic girl wins legal right to use her given name. Hmm. I didn’t know Iceland was a crazy name-nazi.
Budweiser + Corona = never going to happen.
More shootings in US schools. Seriously? There’s literally a new one every day.
Oil Disaster in Mexico City: An explosion at the main headquarters of Mexico’s state-owned oil company in the capital killed 14 people and injured 80
Geraldo Rivera and his mustache hint at a 2014 Senate run.
The Somali government has charged a woman who has said she was raped by security forces. Somalia is giving Russia a run for it’s money re: human rights.
‘Gay dog’ saved from death sentence at last minute. Previous owner/idiot should be euthanized.
Vladimir Putin, known for stifling civil liberties and appearing in frequent , has unleashed another political crackdown. And according to Human Rights Watch, this one’s Russia’s worst! (Soviet era excluded…)
According to , Europe and Central Asia director for the organization,
“This has been the worst year for human rights in Russia in recent memory. The Kremlin in 2012 unleashed the worst political crackdown in Russia’s post-Soviet history.”
“Measures to intimidate critics and restrict Russia’s vibrant civil society have reached unprecedented levels. Pressure and reprisals against activists and non-governmental organizations need to stop.”
In their , Human Rights Watch stated Putin had signed a series of laws last year restricting political freedoms. The laws included new powers to limit public assembly, increase fines for protesters, restricted access to the internet and recriminalise libel – all intended to squash public dissent. Apparently Putin got a
little spooked by incredibly angry at the anti-government protests in Moscow and other major cities following the December 2011 parliamentary elections and is now out to make sure they won’t happen again.
The report also highlighted the two-year prison sentences given to two women from for staging an anti-Putin “punk prayer” in a Moscow cathedral as well as the ban on . The human rights group also threw in some reports of enforced disappearances, torture and extrajudicial executions in the North Caucasus for good measure.
Russia – how do you respond? Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said he had not read the report but that Russia would probably comment later and “show that the human rights situation in Russia is not the worst.” Sounds good Lukashevich, I’m sure you’ll find worse countries – North Korea? Eritrea? So I guess Russia’s response is ‘We’re terrible but we’re not the absolute worst.’ That’ll shut everyone up.
A bipartisan group of US senators has unveiled a plan for sweeping immigration reform. The framework, which calls for a ‘path to citizenship’ for many of the 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the US while also tightening border security, is a result of a rare occurrence: Republicans and Democrats working together.
Barack Obama, however, has his own immigration reform plan. Well, actually it’s quite similar. Much like the Senators’ plan, the president backed a comprehensive overhaul of the existing immigration system, securing US borders, and offering a pathway to earned citizenship.
But what’s more interesting is that the immigration reform plan embraced by Obama is remarkably similar to what the George Bush administration proposed in 2006. Both plans call for increased border security, temporary guest-worker programs, requirements for businesses to e-verify their employees, increased visa, incentives for skilled workers, and an eventual pathway to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants. The main difference is that Obama’s immigration reform has a much better chance of passage.
Why the sudden change? Well, the Bush bill because of the right wing crowd which touted the bill as “amnesty”. Potential candidates vying for the top spot were quick to jump onboard, in hopes of winning conservative votes. As you may recall from the lead up to the GOP primaries, the candidates were very vocal about their opposition to illegal immigration.
As Herman Cain said about to secure the border with a fence:
“It’s going to be 20 feet high. It’s going to have barbed wire on the top. It’s going to be electrified. And there’s going to be a sign on the other side saying, ‘It will kill you — Warning.’”
Michele Bachmann when she spoke of the burdens illegal immigration places on Americans signed a pledge to build a “secure double fence” along every foot of the border with Mexico.
Fast forward to post-election life, and it seems conservatives have finally realized that their hard line on immigration has actually become quite the electoral liability. Obama won 70% of the Hispanic vote in the last election. Hispanics constitutes roughly 17% of America’s population and by 2050 that percentage is estimated to rise to . So… basically they have to be a little less mexican’t and a little more mexican or they will likely lose yet another election.
To its credit, the GOP has been making some efforts recently to improve its standing among minority voters, aside from the bi-partisan Senate plan. They recently held a . Which was held at a former slave plantation… Nice.
Long story short, they have a long way to go and a short time to do it.