Just a few weeks ago, Wikileaks published more than 30,000 documents from the Sony hack, the huge release of confidential data by cyber criminals who targeted Sony Pictures late last year. The result: a massive, searchable archive of 30,287 documents and 173,132 messages.
As Women and Hollywood reported on Monday, one of those leaked emails was an exchange between Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter and Sony CEO Michael Lynton. In the email, dated August 7, 2014, with the subject line “Female Movies,” Perlmutter appears to be explaining to Lynton why a female-centric superhero movie is a bad business idea:
Nadja Popovich in New York
Over the past seven years, Colorado has run an experiment to see if it could lower the rate of unintended pregnancies, cut abortions - and save the state government some money, too.
The Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) offered low-income women and teenagers access to low or no-cost contraceptive devices, including IUDs and implants, and trained providers in insertion and counselling techniques. Last year, researchers reported significant drops in the birth rate among teens and young adult women in participating counties. The abortion rate among women between 15 and 19 years old dropped by more than a third; high-risk pregnancies by a fourth.
In July the governor’s office issued a glowing press release, crediting the program with a 40% statewide drop in teen birth rates between 2009 and 2013 - and a 35% drop in abortions.
But, despite the program’s widely reported successes, last Wednesday Colorado’s Republican-controlled senate killed a bill that would sustain and expand CFPI services.
Yesterday, Mike Huckabee, the guitar-playing, Nugent-loving, ex-Governor preacher from Arkansas, announced that he is running for president. This was not unexpected, but it’s always a treat to hear him give a full-blown speech. He’s very talented, after all, at doing what he does best — stoking resentment among the white working class and lifting up the spirits of social conservatives. Often they are the same people. And they are all Mike Huckabee’s people.
In his speech yesterday, Huckabee hit all the right notes to get crowd excited. He pledged to repeal Obamacare and promised instead to adopt what he called a “curative approach,” which means he thinks we should concentrate on curing diseases rather than treating them. It’s an unusual policy, to say the least, but considering who he is and his background as a fundamentalist preacher it’s always possible that he thinks this can be accomplished through faith healing. So there’s that.
On the other hand, he heartily defended Social Security, a very wise move that you would think all the Republican candidates would adopt, considering the average age of their base voter. He also, however, defended Medicare against the encroachment of the evil Obamacare, following a successful GOP strategy since 2010: convincing the elderly that the federal government wants to put them all on the proverbial ice floe in order to give their hard earned health care to people who don’t deserve it.
On Tuesday, Mike Huckabee made it official. The former Republican Arkansas governor and Fox News host launched his second bid for the White House in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas, vowing to stop the “slaughter” of abortion and calling for the protection of the “laws of nature” from the “the false God of judicial supremacy.”
Huckabee is joining a GOP field that’s bigger and more competitive than the one he out-hustled to win the Iowa caucuses seven years ago. The Christian conservatives who flocked to the former Baptist preacher in 2008 can now turn toward other evangelical-minded candidates in the GOP presidential race. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is already in the hunt; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and and ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry are mulling bids. But Huckabee of today is also a far different candidate than the affable ex-gov who once rocked a bass guitar while stumping with Chuck Norris (although Walker, Texas Ranger is officially on board for this campaign, too). Since dropping out of the 2008 race, he’s flaunted a more combative, occasionally conspiratorial brand of politics—flirting with birtherism, advising prospective enlistees to avoid joining the armed forces until President Barack Obama has left office, and, just last month, warning social conservatives that the United States is “moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”
WASHINGTON — The Senate gave final approval Tuesday to the first joint congressional budget plan in six years, ratifying a 10-year blueprint that would cut spending by $5.3 trillion, overhaul programs for the poor, repeal President Obama’s health care law and ostensibly produce a balanced budget in less than a decade.
Along party lines, the Senate passed the nonbinding blueprint 51 to 48, with only two Republicans voting no, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Both are candidates for the Republican presidential nomination who say the budget plan does not go far enough to shrink the government and cut spending.
Despite the broad aspirations of this budget plan, it appeared moribund even before its final passage. For the plan to take effect, Republican committee chairmen would have to draft legislation that would impose the prescribed cuts. But they have made little effort to do so, and committee leaders in both parties are already calling for new negotiations on a more bipartisan approach.
“It’s going to keep us very busy over the next few weeks,” said Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “We’ll see what comes of it.” His committee is now supposed to draft legislation to repeal the health care law, turn Medicaid into block grants to the states and begin converting Medicare into a program that offers the elderly assistance to buy private health insurance.
But even some Republicans who voted for the budget are counting on its prescriptions to fade away. Next week, the House Appropriations Committee will draft the annual bill to finance transportation and housing programs, and then will turn in June to the bill to pay for worker training, education and health programs. Lawmakers expect at least one of them to fail on the House floor, forcing budget talks to resume again, this time with Mr. Obama at the table.
“With the numbers we’re having to appropriate to, I’m not sure we can pass these bills,” said Representative Harold Rogers of Kentucky, the House Appropriations Committee chairman. He added, “I think there’s a deal to be had.”
Senate Republicans made little of the policies prescribed by their new budget and much of the numbers, which they say show a federal deficit finally disappearing for the first time since 2001. To get there, the budget calls for $4.2 trillion in cuts to benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps over 10 years. Domestic programs at Congress’s annual discretion would be cut by $496 billion below the already tight limits imposed by the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Senator John Thune, Republican of South Dakota, characterized Tuesday’s action as a “historic” step toward a balanced budget.
Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, conceded that living within the budget’s strict spending caps would be difficult, but he said, “We’re not going to wave the white flag on the day we passed a budget agreement.”
Even with the plan’s cuts, the deficit disappears only because of faster economic growth that Republicans assume would be produced by the austerity. This theory, known as “dynamic scoring,” would generate $124 billion over 10 years, according to the budget calculus.
Jesus. “Dynamic Scoring” is an even bigger load of horse shit than “Trickle Down” which is a failure by all real, actual, mathematics-based metrics.
Greg with an important observation: Support for Immigration Reform is much broader within the Democratic party than just the progressive wing. It’s basically recognition that the Democrats lost the Reagan and blue dog Democrats that they were going to lose to the GOP permanently long ago and that catering to that former coalition serves no purpose to the future of the party.
A number of observers are pointing out that this aligns Clinton with the “left” side of the Democratic Party. This is not really right. In fact, the Democratic Party is more unified in favor of immigration reform than it has ever been, due in part to the increasing importance of Latinos to the party, and in keeping with the party’s broader shift on the priorities that matter to the emerging coalition that has driven Dem victories in recent national elections — nonwhites, millennials, and socially liberal college educated whites.
Clinton’s speech today suggests she sees holding that coalition as crucial, as does her recent rhetoric on police reform, on gay rights, and on climate change, perhaps at the expense of the culturally conservative blue collar whites who used to matter more to Dem electoral chances.
Campaigning in Britain’s most unpredictable election in a generation entered its final day with the two main parties level in most polls and neither on track to command a majority in the parliament of the world’s fifth largest economy.
Despite five weeks of campaigning, neither Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party nor Ed Miliband’s opposition Labour has a clear lead, teeing up a potentially messy and uncertain outcome after Thursday’s vote.
The stakes are high because of a rare confluence of factors which mean Britain’s future in the European Union, as well as its national cohesion, could hinge on the result.
Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on whether to stay in or quit the EU if he returns to power. And polls suggest Scottish nationalists could emerge as the third largest party, despite losing a plebiscite last year on whether Scotland should break away from the United Kingdom.
A hard-to-believe political earthquake shook the heartland of Canada’s oil industry on Tuesday night.
The “Texas of Canada,” oil-producing Alberta, elected a new provincial government of the socialist-leaning New Democratic Party in a landslide. The party captured about 53 seats in the 87-member Alberta Legislature; its highest previous total was 16.
The dominant, arrogant Progressive Conservative party was routed after 43 consecutive years in power. It has been reduced to third-party status in the Legislature.
The Alberta election will have a major impact on pipeline politics, and pipeline battles, across North America.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was racing against the clock Wednesday to put together a governing coalition or else face an almost unimaginable scenario by which he would be forced out of office.
Netanyahu was holding furious consultations with the hawkish Jewish Home Party in order to secure a narrow 61-seat majority in the 120-seat parliament. If he fails by the end of the day, President Reuven Rivlin must appoint someone else the task of forming a coalition.
After Netanyahu’s Likud Party won March 17 elections with 30 seats, it seemed he would have a relatively easy time forming a coalition.
SpaceX is set to conduct a test of the launch abort system it will use on its Dragon astronaut capsule.
A test vehicle will be fired from the ground at Cape Canaveral, Florida, to show how a crewship would be flung clear of a rocket in an emergency.
Thrusters integrated into the capsule should push the vessel into the air, before parachutes then bring it softly down into the Atlantic about 2km away.
SpaceX expects to start launching astronauts in 2017.