House Speaker John Boehner says "there is not that much, not that big a difference between what you call the tea party and your average conservative Republican." Strike the word "conservative" from that statement and I'd totally agree -- the "liberal" media has always overplayed the ideological differences between teabaggers and other Republicans, but we'd be better off describing both groups as "reactionary" rather than "conservative."
Former Republican U.S. Senator Marlow Cook, who first hired Mitch McConnell as a legislative aide, now says Mr. McConnell is "not looking out for his own constituency" by opposing the Affordable Care Act (which has been, after all, wildly effective in Kentucky thanks to the state health exchange, Kynect). Mr. Cook -- who served one term, helping shepherd the Equal Rights Amendment through the Senate, before losing to Wendell Ford in the 1974 anti-Watergate wave -- also says he doesn't understand Mr. McConnell's shift to the right. I'd say money explains it, but I presume Mr. Cook is too polite to say so.
David Sirota asks, "Is Journalism Losing Its Nerve?" Noting that less than six in ten journalists think it's OK to publish "confidential business or government documents without authorization" (n.b. the question does not ask about breaking the law), versus nine of ten just 20 years ago, he concludes they are. Which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's ever read a journalism textbook and learned how much of your job is rewriting PR releases. As with Mitch McConnell's rightward slide, of course, it's also about the money -- if corporations (and the politicians they buy) threaten you or co-opt you, you're much less likely to break the next Pentagon Papers or warrantless wiretapping story.
And another one gone, and another one gone: Pennslvania Middle District Court Judge John E. Jones III strikes down Pennsylvania's gay marriage ban. You may recall Judge Jones as the same judge who struck down the Dover Area School District's "intelligent design" curriculum in 2005. And what dirty hippie flag-burning baby-killing terrorist-loving welfare-handout-grabbing President put him on the federal bench? Hint: Mr. Jones received his appointment in 2002.
Surprise, surprise: A&E's show Duck Dynasty, a show during which the characters refer to themselves as "rednecks" approximately once per breath, is a big recipient of Louisiana state subsidies. I already don't think Phil Robertson's entitled to a high-profile TV job despite spewing his racist and heterosexist filth, but I certainly don't think the good folks of Louisiana should subsidize all of that. (As an aside: I'm old enough to remember when A&E broadcast highbrow stuff.)
Finally, the Richmond, VA Homeschool Prom kicks a 17-year-old girl because the fathers in attendance felt her dress and her dancing was leading the boys to "impure thoughts." I'm no great fan of the increasing sexualization of American culture, but I'm far less a fan of folks blaming it all on women, particularly a girl who actually followed the rules the adults laid down (i.e., the "fingertip" dress-length requirement). I mean, don't these idiots know that teenage boys don't need to be led to impure thoughts?